How to find a summer internship: three MUSTs

Three must BEs for securing a summer internship:

  1. Be humble
  2. Be confident
  3. Be thankful

Be humble.  This economy has many employers concentrating on keeping business alive–not always the best time to develop new internship programs. But companies are still doing it—offering their time and experience to help prepare the future workforce.  In brighter times, internships were typically considered a form of corporate community service—taking the time to prepare America’s young adults for a multitude of careers. Then, a hiring manager might have expected an interviewing intern to ask the question, “What will this internship do for me?”  But these are different times and being humble will serve you well.  By Humble, I mean your focus should be on ‘what you can do for them, NOT what they can do for you.’

Be confident. Being confident means believing you are worth a company’s time. Confidence is different than being self-absorbed (a trait common among insecure people). It’s a quiet glow of strength and self-awareness that comes from owning the courage to seek out and acquire the professional skills, industry exposure, and coveted connections that make internships so valuable in the first place.

Be thankful.  Some students get internships through their parents, friends, or relatives. Others find them through their school career centers.  Regardless of how you get an internship, gratitude is essential. The number of interns that take the time to write thank yous after an interview hovers at about 5%. This low percentage means the thank you note is a huge opportunity to stand out. Everyone appreciates a person who truly appreciates an opportunity extended to them. Thank you should be the first thing you say when you BEGIN an interview and it should be the first thing you say when you end an interview. You cannot express your gratitude enough when it comes to letting employers know how appreciative you are to be considered for an internship. Let the manager know you are worth it and that you appreciate their time.  

Got feedback? Bring it here – I’d love to hear it.

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One Comment on “How to find a summer internship: three MUSTs”

  1. Ted Says:

    Love what you wrote about being worth a company’s time. Interns need to create value and realize internships are just ways for them to get experience. Great article.


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