Professional Life

Securing an Internship

At Drake University there is a lot of pressure to secure as many internships as you can before you can graduate, and this was a pressure I felt leading up to the summer after my sophomore year. Many of my peers had networked or established connections with professionals and were announcing their internship plans, while I was scrambling to find an extra job. I had just about given up hope when I received an email from a company I had met at my college career fair.

For one of my classes we were required to go to the career fair on campus. Being a sophomore, I knew most companies were looking to hire juniors and seniors, but I was excited to at least practice my networking skills.

I only spoke to two companies and after feeling very intimidated, I left with my two business cards feeling accomplished. Having been advised by multiple people in my life to always follow up on network connections, I emailed the two people I spoke with thanking them for their time and letting them know I’d be on the lookout for internship opportunities. Little did I know that was the best thing I could’ve done.

One of the people I spoke to emailed me back asking for a copy of my resume, I sent it without a second thought, remembering how she asked for everyone’s resume she spoke with at the career fair. I was shocked when I saw in email from her about four weeks later, discussing an internship opportunity that was available. I emailed her back and we set up a phone interview.

I have never had an internship or a job that required a lengthy interview process, so I was extremely nervous. I scoured the web looking for tips like: always smile on the phone, have your resume pulled up on your computer, and answer the phone in a specific way. I was excited, but not too optimistic.

Well after two stressful phone interviews, I received a job offer and to say I was overjoyed would be an understatement. This summer I will be working in Client Services and Account Management at a PR agency I really admire.

So I learned…

  1. Always follow up on any new network connections, even if it’s just to say I enjoyed meeting you.
  2. Always do your research before a phone interview, look up tips and stalk your interviewer’s company and LinkedIn Profile.
  3. Always remember to thank people for their time and email after every interview, letting the person know you appreciate their time and are interested in the position.
  4. And finally, never underestimate yourself.

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