Lately the Mugsy PR phones have been ringing with calls from college students coming home to South Florida for the summer and looking for summer internships. We already have a great intern, but if you’re looking for summer employment, what I can offer you are are my top five tips to find your perfect internship.
1. Brand Yourself. Once you are in the business world, you will learn how important it is to have a strong personal brand. Set yourself apart when looking for your internship by creating a dynamic brand for yourself now. This can start as simply as being smart and professional with what you post on social media (and ensuring your privacy setting are correct) to a personal website showcasing your resume and portfolio, and much more.*
2. Reach out to People. You can have the world’s best personal brand, an impressive resume, an Ivy League degree, years of work experience, and a really cute smile, but if companies don’t know you exist, you aren’t getting an internship. This means you need to pick up a phone (not just email) and reach out to HR departments as early as possible to ask if the company is hiring interns and have a prepared package ready to go.
3. Engage on Social Media. Linkedin is a great resource for internships, as are Facebook, Twitter and even Google+. Search for #intern or #internship in your local area. Use your Linkedin connections to receive one-on-one recommendations and introductions. Simply asking your connections on any social network can open all sorts of doors for you!
4. Think Outside Your Major. When I was in college I was a theater major. When I couldn’t find a single local theater that was hiring, I took a summer internship at the college in the communications department. It was there that I began to learn about and fall in love with public relations. I switched my major to communications and here I am 17 years later as the owner of a PR firm. In my case it was a big leap, but if for example you can’t find an internship at a PR firm, look for openings at local media outlets and learn the business from the opposite side!
5. Have Fun! So many people look at an internship as a stepping stone into a long term career. And it can be. But it is also an awesome opportunity to try your hand at something new. A chance to see if you truly enjoy the day-in, day-out experiences of a specific career or if you just liked the idea of it. An internship is like a crystal ball showing you what you future could be like if you DO choose this career path, and that is pretty cool. Choose wisely!
Best of luck to you out there!