In my last post I mentioned how securing a summer internship takes a great deal of time, research and effort. These are some of the things I did to streamline the process—hopefully they help.
1. Do Your Research
This begins with picking a city and doesn’t end until after your final-round interview.
Start by figuring out where you want to work and for what kind(s) of companies. For example, I applied mainly to agencies and mid-sized corporations in Cincinnati.
Spend time combing through job entries on job-posting sites. I primarily used Handshake and LinkedIn. Narrow your searches and set alerts so you can start an application as soon as it’s released.
When it comes to a phone interview, look at the company’s website to learn about everything from their company culture to their community philanthropy partnerships. Research your interviewers before talking on the phone or meeting them in person. Are they Ohio State alumni? Were they a part of similar student organizations when they were in college? This will help you think of personal questions to ask and shows you’ve done thorough homework.
See if you can find previous interns on LinkedIn to see what kinds of skills those interns had before applying and what skills they learned on the job.
After your final-round interview when you send a thank you note, you may have to ask or search online for the correct address, especially if they’re a large company with a special mailing code.
2. Be Persistent
This means reaching out to people via LinkedIn, email, phone, etc. to get the information you need.
You may never hear back from some companies, especially if they get thousands of applications and send them through a database. It’s often difficult to find the name or contact info of a recruiter.
Even in Handshake once I had the name of a recruiter but didn’t have her email address (and couldn’t find it after 10 minutes of Googling). I reached out to a career prep advisor as a last ditch effort, and he sent me the recruiter’s contact information that same day.
Persistence also starts with you. For me that meant writing down “internships” in my planner every day and treating it like a homework task I needed to cross of my list. Most days it was a lot of fruitless work, but some days I’d get a response from a recruiter I’d been waiting to hear from.
3. Track Everything
If you’re applying to any more than 10 companies, it’s impossible to keep everything straight.
I had a huge document I started back in September where I tracked my progress each day. This included the research I had done, the companies I’d applied to, who I’d contacted and what I had left to do.
Staying organized helped me keep on top of things, especially when it was a busy week with school and activities and I couldn’t remember where I left off.
You don’t have to do it the same way I did, but find a method that works for you because things gets confusing fast, especially when you’re talking to potentially up to five people at a single company.
Follow these tips so you don’t have to feel like this. (