UGA PRSSA on How to Land Your Dream Internship
By Abby Wagner
It is that time of year when college students start to hunker down and look for a summer internship. While working on the first steps of preparing a resume and searching for likely internship possibilities, do not forget to prepare for the daunting interview stage.
This interview stage is all too familiar for me. I was so nervous in my first job interview that I swear I forgot how to form natural sentences. I could not remember anything I had done that made me qualified for the job, so I proceeded to botch the whole thing. Embarrassing.
You do not have to share this job interview horror though. Here at the University of Georgia, we have an amazing Career Center full of well-informed and well-prepared staff. At the Career Center, you can discover different majors/careers, develop your resume, get into grad school and find a mentor. The best part is that these services are free, so you should definitely take advantage of them!
During my first visit to the UGA Career Center, my counselor asked a bunch of questions to truly understand my strengths, weaknesses and interests. She taught me how to market myself by highlighting skills learned in and out of the classroom. We also discussed what skills PR practitioners need to be marketable – writing, event planning, organization, time management, etc. Slowly, I became more confident when presenting myself and my abilities.
Another tip from the Career Center is to research the company before the interview. Being able to talk about the company and why you want to work there is a huge advantage in an interview because bosses want workers who want to work at their company. Does the company support minorities? Is the company focused on going green? Do their morals align with your own morals? Research this!
After going to the UGA Career Center, you should practice your interviewing skills. Practice makes perfect, right?
The best resource I have found to practice interviewing skills is Big Interview, an online training course to ensure you won’t experience any unknown situations during the real thing. This is a resource that we, as UGA students, have free access to as well. On Big Interview, you get hands-on practice with mock interviews tailored to your specific industry, job and experience level.
Listed on Big Interview are thousands of sample questions that can help prepare you for the big day. There is also an “Answer Builder” tool which, according to Big Interview, “will help you mine the depths of your memory to find the right stories to tell.” However, the best aspect of this site is the “Mock Interview” tool which allows you to practice as much as you can.
Before starting your PR internship search, make sure you check out the UGA Career Center to increase your confidence and get industry insights, and make sure you visit Big Interview to practice the skills you acquire at the Career Center. When competition is tough, these tips can make the difference between going home with an internship and going home empty-handed.