October 20, 2010

Internships Search Checklist

If you intend to intern somewhere in the spring, now is the time to start looking. It can be a little overwhelming to perform an internship search on your own: there is a lot to keep organized and a lot to prepare. To help you out, here is a basic check list (roughly in order) of the steps you should take along the way to finding that dream internship. Keep in mind though that the timing of each of these steps can vary greatly by company and each has its own timeline. Always be polite and respectful and try to be patient when waiting for feedback or information.

Spring Internship Checklist/Timeline

Research and Applications
-Do some research on different types of internships and companies

-Determine what geographical area you want to work in

-Research companies in your area of interest and gather contact info or career site links

-Meet with any contacts in the industry to see how they can help you

-Prepare or retouch your resume and have someone review it

-Start creating a list or spreadsheet of companies you'd like to apply to

-Contact each company to find out more about potential jobs, ask if they take interns, find out how to apply, etc. Be polite and professional, this is your first chance to make a good impression.

-Do some research on the companies on your list to personalize your cover letters

-Write cover letters and be sure to personalize them for each position and company

-Apply a few months (likely about 2-4, but it varies by company) before you want to intern. Be sure to follow the specific instructions provided by the company

-About 2-3 weeks after you apply (this depends on whether or not you know when the company is planning to begin the interview process) follow up to ensure your application was received and see if you can provide any more information

-Immediately after you send in your application, be prepared for the potential for a random, preliminary phone or screening interview. Keep info handy including your resume, cover letter, and company info in case you need to reference it on the spur of the moment.

-Keep your phone handy and try to answer calls from unfamiliar numbers because many companies will not leave a message. Also, keep your planner nearby so you can schedule in person interviews if needed.

-Do some more research on the company and potential interviewer before your interviews

-On the interview, ask when you should expect to hear something

-Follow up with a thank you note

-Wait until after the expected timeline mentioned at the interview passes an follow up with the company, or if no timeline was given wait at least a few weeks

Good luck!
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