If you’re a recent graduate then it’s quite possible that you’ve run into the merry-go-round of applying for entry-level positions, meeting all of the qualifications, but one of the requirements is to have 1-3 years of experience. Huh? “But that’s why I’m applying for this position!” you may say.
Finding yourself without adequate on-the-job experience can make your post-graduate career search quite difficult. Here is where the importance of internships comes in. Internships have become a must for college students, and many degree programs have begun to implement them into the required curriculum. A number of colleges host internship fairs where they invite companies and organizations that are looking to fill internship positions. This basically brings the employers to you. However, that’s only half the battle. The other half is landing a positon and making the most of it.
Once you’ve been selected for an interview, the next step is selling yourself. If you succeed and land the internship it’s important to make the most of it and that lies not only in the company’s hands, but yours as well. Here are some tips:
Preparing for an internship interview:
Research – It’s important that you know about the positon you are pursuing and about the company. Is it paid or unpaid, do the internships objectives align with your goals, how many hours are required, ect? These are things you need to know. Additionally, the best place to find information about a company is through its website. Take time to sift through it, find what they’re all about and what they have to offer.
FAQs – Prepare responses to frequently asked questions.
- Tell me about yourself?
- What makes you a good candidate?
- What are your career goals?
- What are some of your strengths/weaknesses?
- What qualifies you for this position?
Don’t come empty handed – Though this may be your first chance at gaining experience, don’t come empty handed. Rather than telling the interviewee what you can do, show them. This can include work samples, class assignments that show off your skills, and most importantly, a nice, clean resume is a must. Be sure that your resume highlights skills and qualifications pertinent to the position you’re applying for.
Making the most of your internship:
Set personal goals – Come in with an idea of things you want to take away from your internship experience. This can be tangible work to add to a portfolio or skills and practices significant to your career field.
Communication – In any field, communication is vital. Ask questions, lots of questions. As an intern you’re there to learn and often you get the chance to work with individuals who have a lot to teach. Use this opportunity for advice and guidance.
Take initiative – Though it’s not a career, put as much effort into it as if it were. Take every opportunity to be involved, contribute ideas and meet new people.
Wellons Communications is always on the lookout for eager public relations, marketing or communications majors to be a part of our intern program. Please send questions and resumes to firstname.lastname@example.org