5 Tips to Help You Land an Internship
By: Sara Lawrence
Internships are imperative for students to gain real-world experience in the workforce and can help students discover the specific field they are passionate about to pursue a full-time job after graduation. Earning these opportunities with professionals in the Public Relations and Communications field is something Grady students excel at. It is never too early to start looking for an internship to get involved in your career path outside of class. Here are five tips to help you land an internship:
1. Create a stellar resume
When applying to internships, the first step is to submit a copy of your resume. Your resume should include your basic contact information, education, major or area of study and your relevant leadership, work and extracurricular experience. As a freshman or sophomore in college, it can be challenging to have an amazing resume with a ton of credible experience and that’s okay; as you move further into your major and throughout your college years, you will gain more experience that you will be able to list on your resume. Once you get more college experience, your resume should mainly be focused on your involvement in college, not high school, and take up no more than one page. It needs to be legible and organized, and your involvement listed should reflect the skills necessary for the internship you are applying for; you do not have to list every single thing you have done.
2. Apply to many different internships
It is very rare to apply to one internship and land the job. Many people have to apply over and over again to secure an internship that suits them and the employer well. In order to avoid becoming discouraged when facing rejection, it is best to apply to multiple internships and not place all of your hope on one particular opportunity. Do your research on companies offering internships you are interested in and apply for any that fit your interests and skill set! Internships in different areas will allow you to see what you like or dislike about a field and help guide you towards what career area you want to pursue.
3. Practice your interviewing skills
After your resume is prepared, the next step is often an interview with your potential employer. You must prepare for this! Make sure you can talk about all your experience, sell your qualities that are relevant to the job and practice answering common interview questions. You want to be polished, but you also don’t want to be too scripted. You want your personality and uniqueness to shine through during your interview. Employers will be working with you, so they need to see you fitting into their company culture just as much as they want you to be qualified for the role. Make sure you come to the interview having done your research about the company you are applying to. Come up with a list of questions for them too, so that they know you are informed and interested!
4. Get involved on campus for experience
Because of the pandemic, many students lost study abroad opportunities, internships and other campus-involvement experiences. In order to make up for these losses and beef-up your resume, you should make it a priority to get involved in campus clubs in your area of interest as much as possible. PRSSA is a great way to show you are getting involved with Public Relations on campus! Other Grady programs include the Talking Dog Agency and Newsource Volunteering. Leadership is also very important. If you can become a leader in any club on campus, it will show the employers that you are responsible, ambitious and willing to take charge in the workplace.
5. Network, network, network!!
Finally, the way you hear about internship opportunities in the first place is through your connections! Talking to professionals in your area of interest and even other classmates allows them to share their insights and any opportunities they know of with you. UGA has an excellent mentorship program that pairs you with alumni in your area of study, which is a great way to form connections, along with attending PRSSA meetings where you can meet and network with Public Relations professionals every other week from successful corporate companies and agencies. It can be nerve racking to reach out to people, but you would be surprised how many people want to help you! LinkedIn is another great tool to connect with professionals on social media, and the Grady Career Fair allows you to talk to over 50 different employers in one day! Overall, even if you don’t end up getting the internship you want, you still establish connections with employers just by applying that can later provide future opportunities.
As you begin looking for internship opportunities, keep these tips in mind to help you land an opportunity that will allow you to excel in your career!
Don’t forget to join PRSSA for our next meeting on February 22nd at 6:30! It will be a meeting with the Crisis Communications Coalition with Tom Cullen featuring panelists Sarah McRae, Lindsey Deutsch, Caitlin Oh and Maddie Fiorante. This meeting will be held entirely on Zoom. Zoom information will be released closer to the meeting. Join PRSSA as a member before it’s too late: here.