student-run marketing firm at Stephens College, Columbia, MO


Pursuing Your Dream Internship: Five Steps to Success


College is an exciting and stressful adventure, and on top of classes, work, and social events, internships can fall by the wayside. However, so many programs require at least one under your belt by graduation, and they boost your credibility and value to future employers. Getting an internship is less of a choice and more of a necessity for your career, but with 20.5 million students in the US alone competing for a limited number of positions, you need to get your game face on and make pursuing one a priority. Here are five tips to set you apart from the rest:

  1. Beat everyone else to it. Start pursuing summer internships as soon as possible. Reaching out early never hurts, and establishing a contact in the beginning of the school year gives you plenty of time to nurture that relationship and be remembered. If there’s a specific company you’re aiming for, try to get in contact with someone within the company, even if it just means emailing the general inbox.

  2. Have your resume and portfolio ready. Never reach out to a company without being ready to respond immediately. It’s easy to get over-excited and email your favorite company, but if they respond and you don’t have your life together, you’ll not only miss out on the opportunity, but you could also hurt your reputation with that company.

  3. Be authentic. The most interesting people are the people who are unashamedly themselves. Express your passion for the company and show what makes you different from other candidates.

  4. Research the company. Be a self-starter and learn about the company culture and policies. Come prepared to talk about why you would be a good fit with the company and when you answer questions, make it obvious that you’re answering from an informed viewpoint.

  5. Don’t give up after the first try. Even if you don’t get your dream internship initially, don’t stop trying. Being persistent is difficult, but it really shows the company how much you want the position and can really impress them.

We hope that these steps help you to achieve your internship goals. Share any of your internship suggestions in the comments! Let’s help each other pursue excellence.

Graphic by Claire DeSantis

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