4 Tips for Landing the Internship That Will Set You Up for Your Dream Career

Written by guest blogger: James Mitchell of Intern Solutions

In many cases, successful careers with great companies start with an internship. Internships are the best way to prove your value to the company through work ethic, determination, and demonstrations of your capability. Of course, getting an internship is not unlike securing a job. There is a process to follow that includes applying and interviewing, just like a permanent position.

Even if you decide the company isn’t right for you, the lessons you will learn by simply applying and interning will give you the skills you need to land the job of your dreams. Here are a few tips on getting the perfect internship:

  1. Don’t Be Too Picky

Yes, an internship that is paid and in the exact department you want to work with would be ideal. Unfortunately, internships, particularly paid ones, are very competitive. Your goal is not to end up in your dream department with a salary just yet. Rather, you should be focusing on getting into the company, regardless of department or position.

Simply getting your foot in the door is a critical first step. Once you have entered the company on your internship, it will become much easier to move laterally into other departments when searching for permanent positions.

  1. Always Follow-Up

Many companies will actually toss your resume if you do not take the time to follow up after applying or interviewing. It shows you are not too concerned about working for their company. After applying, follow up within the next day or two. If possible, do a little research and directly contact the person or people in charge of hiring interns. Tell them who you are, when you applied, what you applied for, and ask whether or not they need anything further from you.

If you land an interview, be sure to send a follow-up letter, including anything you may have forgotten to mention and thanking your interviewers for their time.

  1. You Have Interview Homework

Before an interview, you should always do research on both the company and the internship. You want to display a basic understanding of the company and job so that you can answer questions like “Why do you want to work for this company?” Doing your research also makes you look more prepared and more invested in securing the position.

  1. Never Bank on Just One Opportunity

The modern job market is competitive. There are many other dedicated and educated people who want good internships just like you. This is not to say you should give up on your top position, but you should never focus all effort on just one. Pick a few internships that will apply to your dream career or are involved with the company you want to work for. Maintain hope for that top pick but create a safety net on the off chance your priority falls through.

Getting an internship can seem overwhelming at first but after a few applications, you will quickly have the process down to a science. Do your research, prepare yourself, don’t be overly selective about which positions to apply for, and never take a chance on a single opportunity with just one company. Your dream job is out there; it just may take a little time to find it.



About the author:

I completed my first internship the summer after my freshman year of
college and continued to do so every summer after that. Being an intern
removed me from my college bubble, provided a good dose of reality, and
challenged my self-discipline. In fact, I learned so much from those
summers, I started a site dedicated to providing resources to interns,
employers, and educators called Intern Solutions.

James Mitchell


Image via Pixabay by trudi1

Mary Ila Ward

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