Tips for Applying for an Internship

Bridget Hurley ’15

This summer I interned full-time at a public relations firm in Los Angeles, California. I spent my time speaking with PR professionals and clients, writing press releases and pitches, and communicating with journalists about our clients. In short, I was doing the work I hope to do professionally post-graduation. I got lucky with my internship and loved going to work every morning.

My three months at Miller gave me a perspective on the professional world that formal education can not. After completing my internship I realized why Elon requires students to work professionally before graduating. But how does a student find and secure an internship that they will learn from and enjoy? In my experience, preparation is everything. Here are some tips for how to prepare for applying for an internship.

1) Maintain a professional online presence. Google yourself before beginning your internship search and know what employers will see. Update your Linkedin account with the extracurricular activities, projects and work you have done recently.

2) Do extensive research on the company you hope to work for before applying. Tailor your professional content to be the perfect candidate that they are looking for. Does the company value service? Include volunteer work that you have done on your resume. Does the company repeat specific buzzwords on their website? Integrate those words into your cover letter. You can make slight adjustments to your resume that show the company that you are serious about the prospect of interning with them and are familiar with their work.

Check out this link. It shows two resumes from the same person applying for different jobs. The different professional experiences you have had may or may not be relevant depending on what you want to do.

3) Make sure the internship you’re applying for is right for you. Look at your internship as a chance to take a short peek at what your career might look like. Consider the work you are applying for in the context of your future professional career. Find something you will be proud of down the line.

Preparing your personal brand and resume and researching the company you want to intern at are very important skills to master. Even if you do not hear back from the company, reflect on your resume, cover letter, and preparation. And, of course, continue searching for companies you can see yourself working for.

Best of luck!

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