Securing your dream internship
When summer is coming to an end, you may not be thinking about what you’ll be doing a year from now. However, it is never too early to start preparing for the internship search and making a plan. Many companies are beginning to recruit earlier and earlier to secure the best talent. There are certain steps you can take to prepare yourself for securing an internship.
Determine your interests
The first step of your internship search is to determine what you are looking for. This entails figuring out which industries you are potentially interested in, like finance or health care or retailing. Reflect on your past schoolwork and major to help see where your skills lie and determine what kind position you are seeking. Determine what the size of company and culture you are looking for. Evaluate your past experiences, such as clubs, projects, or classes that you enjoyed and could translate into a career.
Once you have an idea of which industry and role you want to get an internship in, start researching. As you discover specific companies you want to work for, create a list with the company name, then add internship opportunities and application deadlines as you find them. If you want to work somewhere with a very competitive internship program like Amazon, Google, or Facebook, ensure you have some companies that have less competitive programs. Research the type of interviews associated with the role you want. For example, some internships have multiple interview components. Finance interviews typically have a behavioral component and a technical finance component, whereas many engineering interviews contain a math test and consulting interviews have a case study.
Once you know where you want to work and what to expect in the interview process, you need to prepare. Networking is very important and can help land you your first interview. Reach out to family and friends to see if they know anyone in the industry or company you are interested in. Check your school’s career events. While events this Fall may be virtual, many large companies will still have recruiting opportunities for students. Contact graduates from your college who work for companies you’re interested in on LinkedIn and have a coffee chat. Set up an appointment with a career coach at school and do a mock interview so you are ready when the time comes for you to interview for an internship.
It’s never too early to start preparing, setting goals, and doing your research. Small things like these can help put you a step ahead of the other applicants. Hopefully starting early will help you land your dream internship. Good luck!