This summer, I have been lucky enough to experience my first office internship in New York City. I am currently working as a fashion and home intern for Woman’s Day Magazine, doing miscellaneous tasks very similar to that of an editor. I commute to the famous Hearst Tower every day by Metro North train and work a full 9 hours. From what I’ve accomplished so far these past six weeks, I can certainly vouch that internships are key components to your college experience in order to gain an insight as to what it’s like to work in your field of study. It may ultimately lead you into being hired post-graduation if you work hard enough and make solid connections. Or, it may turn you away from the job you thought you had always wanted. Luckily, for me, it’s only made me more interested in eventually working in publishing. Here are some beneficial tips to know prior to your internship search:
Application Process: The cover letter is always huge factor in showing why you specifically are cut out for this internship. If you’re applying for a writing position, talk about your previous work and why it’s benefited you as a writer and a worker. Make sure your resume is clean and straightforward, considering companies do not have the time to read through thousands of intricate applications. If this is your first internship and you have no prior experience, simply talk about your skills and the classes you have taken in school.
Interview: I was able to do a phone interview for my internship since I attend school in Florida and rarely come home throughout the semester. While these are becoming more and more common, they are still just as important as far as making an impression. It’s always a good idea to have notes laid out in front of you for any questions that may be asked, and always be sure to have background information about the company for any unexpected questions. Showing that you’re interested in the company and have immersed yourself in background knowledge of it is extremely important.
You’re Hired!: This is the most exciting news you can receive after all that hard work. If the company decides to hire you, make sure you thoroughly explain to them all of the school requirements if you plan to get credit for the internship. Several internships, such as mine, are unpaid if you are receiving school credit. In order to make up for it, I work on weekends at a restaurant. While it may be difficult to not receive any form of solitary compensation for your hard work, just remember that internships will provide you with an amazing experience that gets your foot in the door. DO NOT turn it down if it is unpaid. This is a common mistake that several students make when they realize they will not be paid for the internship. In a situation like this, experience conquers money.
The Internship: Once you have the internship, I’ve learned thus far that going above and beyond is extremely important in order to make an impression. There are so many students that intern at major companies, so naturally, it’s easy to forget some interns. Stand out by showing up early every day or leaving later, and even check emails while at home if you’re set up on the company email account. It demonstrates responsibility and a huge interest in bettering the company as a whole. Keep a positive attitude while on the job and always do what your boss asks no matter how exhausted you may be, because there will certainly be days that seem never ending. However, a recommendation from your boss is what will ultimately lead you into being hired down the road. Remember that you need to start somewhere to reach the top!
In the end, the internship usually turns out to be one of your best college experiences. There will be tough days on the job and easy days, just like that of the real world. Work hard during the application process, and don’t stress over the possibility of not being hired. It happens to the best of us, so keep applying and you will eventually be accepted somewhere. Good luck in your internship search!