Go Get It


As a college freshman, my primary concern was where my next pizza was coming from… and where I would find a coupon for it.

Today's freshmen spend the first months of their college career, securing their internships for next summer.

The best internships, like jobs, are not advertised, they are uncovered and sometimes created. Instead of waiting for an opportunity, go get it.

Start by finding four people:
1. An alumna or alumnus of your university who works in your field of interest.
2. A person in your dream organization who leads or works in the department in your field.
3. A person in your field, you will find by asking friends, family or neighbors.
4. A board member of a professional association or chamber of commerce who works in your field.

For the first two, used LinkedIn. In the search box, type your university or a company and hit enter. Then add keywords for the industry or location. Or ask your alumni association for a mentor. Many fellow alum are eager to help.

The person in your dream organization might be toughest to reach, but your effort shows initiative. Employers tell me their best interns "show initiative."

For the board members, plug your field of interest, plus "association" into your favorite search engine. Or browse through your local chamber's board.

When you find your four, the first question is not, "Do you have an internship for me?" Cultivate the relationships. Pay attention to their LinkedIn posts. Ask specific questions about their job, background and career insights. Send hand-written thank you notes for guidance given.

Cultivate the relationships, then ask about internships. Where there isn't one, suggest one or ask for referrals. If you want it, go get it.

One thing about internships, they're always buying you pizza.

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Culture and Manners Institute at www.cultureandmanners.com