For the third installation of Ro&Co, Katie Melbourne shares the steps she takes to get the coolest internships (like last spring at NASA!!!). If you want to learn more about getting internship and the job search process, check out our new podcast, Get This Girl a Job!!
It’s that time of year again…recruiting season! When you’re knee-deep in resumes and career fairs, it may seem like that summer opportunity is just a distant idea. But with consistent organization and the help of mentors, that dream can soon become a reality! Here are my best tips for snagging that perfect position, and what to do once you get there.
Once you assess your goals for the summer, talk to people you trust to get their advice. You never know if professors, friends, or other mentors happen to know of a great opportunity for you! If you find a position at a company that seems like a good fit, use LinkedIn to search people who have also worked at that particular organization in a similar role. You may even be able to find alums from your school! Don’t be afraid to ask them to connect with you and talk about their experiences.
Apply to Many Opportunities
A common roadblock to searching for opportunities is when your background matches the majority of the requirements but maybe doesn’t include one or two of the preferred qualifications for the position. Don’t let this stop you; you should apply to EVERYTHING that interests you! By demonstrating your ability to learn and your willingness to fill in those gaps, you can still be a standout candidate.
When you apply to many internships, you also have to stay organized! It helps to make a spreadsheet including the company name, job title, requirements, due dates, and application status. This way, you will never miss a deadline!
Nail the Interview
After sending in a killer resume and cover letter, you’re ready to interview! Be sure to read up on the company and be familiar with their vision and mission. Think of some questions to prepare to show that your are interested and want to know more than what you can find by googling. Even if you are nervous, take a deep breath before answering each question so you can impress the interviewer with your confidence and enthusiasm.
Logistics, Logistics, Logistics!
So you got an offer! YES! Now to other important matters: housing and transportation! Often, you can find housing by posting on an online forum or facebook group hosted by your university to ask other students if they are looking for roommates in the city where you’ll be working. You can also search for housing companies or dorms that are designed to help undergrad interns find a place to live for the summer. I ended up meeting some of my closest friends by living in an all-women’s boarding house in DC and spending the weekends touring the city together! Get familiar with any public transportation available as well by mapping out your commute to work every day.
Reflect on your Experience
Once you start your job or internship, keep track of how you feel about your role, the company environment, and the overall experience. Don’t worry if you didn’t like what your were doing. The purpose is to figure out what you don’t like about a position in addition to determining what you really enjoy. Ask your boss to give you feedback on how you did so that you can continue growing in future positions as well. Be sure to keep in touch with the people you meet; they will become important mentors on your journey forward.
Want to hear more advice on college, internships, and the job search process? Tune in to Get This Girl a Job, the new podcast Rosana and I created to help women gain the confidence to land their first jobs after graduation! Listen to our short teaser, then SUBSCRIBE so you don’t miss our first full-length episode on February 5th!
You can also find us on iTunes here!!