Securing Your Internship

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Dominic Sequeira
A college student’s desk featuring an open laptop and a composition notebook.

As a student taking steps towards my future career, I have learned some things you can take to secure that internship you have always been dreaming of. It doesn’t matter whether you are a freshman or a senior, these steps apply to everyone and can be used to help propel yourself to getting closer to that offer.

To start off, it is important for you to understand what type of industry you see yourself working in. This not only narrows down what you may be interested in, but it also allows you to tailor your documents that may be needed when applying.

Once you have figured out where you want to apply, now you must start preparing you respective documents. The first and arguably most important one is a resume. There are many resume templates online that you can utilize and reference. You can even reach out to a friend or colleague to gauge how they applied for a similar position using their resumes. The main points on the resume should be your contact information, list of achievements, and any activities or clubs that you may be a part of that are relevant to this job opportunity. Next, you want to edit and make sure the resume is clear and legible. Most recruiters look at an applicant's resume for a maximum of ten seconds, so it is very important you have an easy-to-read resume. This allows someone to quickly browse through and gain an understanding of the type of person that you are.

After you have created a resume, it is time to create a LinkedIn. This form of social media is very helpful in developing connections and staying in contact with your colleagues. It also can prove to be a place where future opportunities may present themselves to you. Here on LinkedIn, it is important you once again list your achievements and relevant experience to the industry you are seeking to work in. You can also feature a link to your LinkedIn profile on your resume.

Once both your resume and LinkedIn have been finalized, now comes the application part. It is important that you apply to as many jobs as you can that your experience matches up with. Rarely will the first couple of applications land you an interview. For me personally, whenever I have some free time or I’m bored, I’ll generally use that time to apply to a couple job postings. There are many sites one can use to apply to jobs. I tend to use Handshake and LinkedIn. Handshake is great as it's geared towards college students, so a lot of the job postings will be geared towards your level of experience. LinkedIn is also great as most employers utilize LinkedIn to recruit.

What also helps if you’d like to gain more experience is to join clubs at your university that are geared towards the industry you are interested in. If you like learning about cars and want to design cars, maybe try joining a car club on campus. Having activities and interests that are also aligned with what you are trying to pursue upon graduation makes your resume stand out even more.

The process to secure an internship can sometimes be disheartening, however it is important that you persist and continue trying. Even though initially you may not get the results you desire, if you are improving and trying every day, you eventually will get to your goal of securing your dream internship.

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