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
The best internships, like
jobs, are not advertised, they are uncovered and sometimes created. Instead of
waiting for an opportunity, go
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
3. A person in your field, you will find by asking friends, family or
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.