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5 Tips for College Students Seeking Internships [Sponsored PSA]

AdamGregor

 

Internships can be an integral part of your future success.

According to a survey done by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, 93% of the 266 surveyed employers plan to hire interns. Employers see interns as a way to stay relevant by hiring students who may be more up-to-date with the latest technologies.

Internships can be a great way to get a foot in the door, especially for students about to graduate from college and enter the work force. Many employers look to their interns first when full time openings occur because they already know the student and their capabilities.

Internships can also be highly competitive. If you haven’t already lined up your internship for next summer, use these 5 tips to help you score a resume building internship.

Be an industry expert

Pay attention to the latest trends and topics in the field you are specializing in. Be ready to offer your opinion and/or ideas for solutions to some of the current issues. Again, employers state that one of the reasons they like interns is because they are current and fresh.

Check your social media presence

Even if you feel as though your web presence is not offensive or risky, always be sure to ‘Google yourself’. Many if not most potential employers these days will check out your online presence so you want to make sure what shows up is professional and positive. No matter how sure you are of your privacy settings, you should remove any questionable content. Instead of pictures from Friday night’s party, use your social media profiles as a way to impress potential employers.

Be sure to say thank you

As with a typical job interview, it is customary to send a handwritten note of thanks to those who have interviewed you or assisted you in finding an internship. Getting into this habit now can help to pay off when you’re looking for more permanent work. Writing a note of thanks also provides the opportunity for you to briefly reiterate your skills, your enthusiasm for the project, and highlight why you’d be a good match for the position.

Focus on the positive

Understand that as an intern you may be asked to do some of the less glamorous tasks. Get into the habit of being cheerful and gracious, even when asked to grab someone a cup of coffee. Remember, making positive connections is key to opening doors to employment opportunities so focus on making a good impression with the colleagues you are meeting. Then if you want more challenging projects, occasionally ask your supervisors if there is anything else you can do to help them.

Be confident, but not too confident

Remember, they chose you because they like you and think that you are qualified, so be confident in your skills. However, remember that you are still learning and don’t act or talk like you know it all. Instead, put your energies towards learning as much as you can during your internship, about the company, the industry, and business environment in general.

Taking that next step, and thinking about your future after college, can be overwhelming. MES CRAVE is here to assist you. Our college and career access specialists are available to help at 800-922-6352 or email us as crave@mesfoundation.org. Sign up here to be notified of future blog posts or to join our mailing list.

Kate Leveille joined the MES team in May 2012 as its College and Career Access Program Director. Her primary role is to assist in increasing college access awareness and to support Maine students and families, helping them to achieve their post-secondary education goals. She currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors for The Jump$tart Coallition of Maine as well as a Steering Committee member for Maine College Access Network, also known as MaineCAN!

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