Internship Pursuit: What Not to Do

Intern PursuitForget about the “official start.” For us in Central Florida, the love bugs, humidity and heat say it all. Summer is here. And for us at Wellons Communications, that means the summer interns have arrived.

This past week, Alex, Joel, Megan and Rene joined our team. They’re top-notch students from some of the state’s best universities, and they’re already fitting right into our team.

But they weren’t the only ones to apply. In fact, we had quite a stack of resumes and met with several qualified candidates. Earlier this year, we headed to internship fairs at the University of Florida and the University of Central Florida. While many of the students were articulate, intelligent and affable, some were immediate cross-outs.

So to help future job and internship seekers, we’ve compiled a list of what NOT to do at an internship fair (and yes, all these things really did happen).

1. Committed Relationships & Fido. Always have your “elevator speech” ready. This is a brief explanation of who you are professionally and why you are qualified. Many interviewers will ask: “so tell me about yourself.” This is not an opportunity to talk extensively about your committed relationship, your lovable pet dog, or that you really enjoy sushi.

2. Dress for Success Not the Club. Overly tight clothes, short skirts, low blouses and jeans are not the best interview attire. Bottom line.

3. The “Nope” Answer. When asked if you have any questions for the interviewer, avoid saying, “no.” Always follow up with a question. This shows you’re eager, and if you’ve done your research, can put you on top of the resume stack.

4. You’re not a failure. Never bring up a weakness if you can’t follow up with how you overcame it or how you learned from it. Saying you switched from journalism to PR because you couldn’t pass the reporting class is never a winning answer.

5. What to do: Thank You Notes. Out of everyone we interviewed, we only received one handwritten thank you note. That person got an immediate call and offer.

If you’re interested in interning with Wellons Communications for the Fall, check us out online:, on Facebook or send an e-mail to Sara at