Jan 12, 2009

Finding An Internship

We all have to go into the “Real World” eventually, and I don’t mean the one that automatically comes with a beach house. No matter how hard we may resist, getting a job and establishing a career is a fate everyone must meet. But what if working a regular job actually wasn’t that bad? What if working was, in fact, enjoyable?

Think of your ideal job. Some prospective occupations, like astronaut and rock star, are obviously a bit more far-fetched than others. But for many of the more realistic jobs, you should consider an internship. Internships are a great way to get training and a feel for what it’s like to work at a job you desire. You also might make a little money.

So, how can you go about getting a position as an intern? The first step is to create a resume. A resume is a list of qualifications you have that make you deserving of the position. For example, if you want an internship as a writer with Rolling Stone, it would be very helpful to have experience working at your school’s newspaper (or any other writing/editing experience). Also, any knowledge you have about music and the music industry, perhaps from working as a DJ at your college’s radio station, would be a plus. Consider anything that might pertain to the job, such as experience, special knowledge, and skills, and add that to your resume. Complete your resume with a cover letter illuminating your passion for the internship. Avoid sounding too general—you want the person considering you for the position to think that particular job is the only one in the world for you. Another great way to show this is to include any examples of your work, such as photos if you are applying for a photography internship. If you don’t have any samples, create some. This will demonstrate your eagerness to work.

Next, inquire into the application process for the internship you are interested in. Many big companies (like Rolling Stone) must sort through a huge volume of applications, so there are usually specific times to apply. If possible, establish a relationship with someone in the company.

Once you have your resume and application submitted, there are three words you must remember: persistence, persistence, persistence! There once was a kid, fresh out of high school, who desperately wanted to be a writer for his favorite car magazine. He put together his resume and wrote up some examples, only to contact the magazine and find out the magazine did not have and internship program in place. However, he stuck to his guns and established a relationship with one of the editors. After several weeks of emails and phone calls, he convinced the magazine to create the internship. He was able to be the first-ever intern for the magazine, and now, several years later, he contributes to them on a regular basis!

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