For this week’s #ProCircles chat, our hostMark Babbitt (@YouTernMark) guided the discussion of how to find and secure a great summer internship, even now! A big thank you to Mark for his advice and all those who participated with their own! If you weren’t able to make the chat, or need a reminder, here is the recap:
Join us for our next #ProCircles chat Thursday, May 17, at 8pm EST!
Q1: Should I bother to look for an internship at this point? Is it ever too late?
Mark Babbitt: It is NEVER too late. Perhaps you’ve missed the deadlines of larger employers or government offices… but lots to be had. Focus on organizations with less rigid deadlines: small to medium sized businesses, grass-roots, non-profits and start-ups. Leverage your existing relationships – and build some more – to get a foot in the door at a high-impact employer.
Q2: XYZ company/organization isn’t offering any internships – what can I do about it?
Mark Babbitt: This is where an entrepreneurial spirit comes in… create a one-page proposal about what you can do for them… and pitch! Simply put: make them an offer they can’t refuse. Discuss the problems you’ll solve, how you’ll help their bottom line, etc. Hard to refuse extra help at minimal cost when pitched by a passionate, confident young professional with answers.
EricaLRoberts: Get creative! Pitch to them why you would make a great intern, and what your internship could entail.
ThomasCareer: College students, ask career services or a professor if they know someone on the inside.
Q3: What can I do online to find an internship?
Mark Babbitt: Network, network and network some more! Build your LinkedIn profile, join LinkedIn Groups and join Twitter chats like #ProCircles, #InternPro and #jobhuntchat. Don’t just go through the motions online, engage! Build relationships that will last way past your need for an internship.
ThomasCareer: There are plenty of websites out there, but as with job hunting, the networking piece is crucial. I was thinking about job sites online, but my other answer is use Twitter and LinkedIn. Find connections in your network. Create a website or e-portfolio to promote yourself.
Q4: We’ve talked online, so let’s talk offline. What can I do in-person to find an internship?
Mark Babbitt: Attend industry conferences, both regional & national – huge networking opportunity. Also, consider local Chamber meetings. Join Meet-ups in your area – very powerful. Better yet, START a meet-up or hangout (and be known as a connector).
ThomasCareer: Whether for jobs or internships, students should seek out events in their field, like a lunch and learn at the local Ad Club.
Q5: If I can’t land an official internship, how else can I fill the gap during summer?
Mark Babbitt: There are many ways to get amazing experience besides internships: volunteering, freelancing, political campaigns, etc. Don’t ever give up on networking your way into an internship, though. Keep hustling, stay positive.
EricaLRoberts: Volunteer and freelance! Keep networking, there’s always opportunities out there. If you give up, you’ll never get anything.
ThomasCareer: About networking to find opportunities, a favorite quote: “If they have a pulse network with them.” – Bill Stone. Find summer jobs relevant to what you’re studying. Criminal justice students might be interested in summer patrol on a beach. Another example, finance students could get a job as a teller. Future employers will look for that relevant experience.
Q6: I got offered an internship! How can I be sure it’s right for me?
Mark Babbitt: Even before you apply for an internship, make a list of what is important to you: mentorship, experience, credit, pay, etc. Then measure the employer against what you want or need. If it isn’t right, don’t settle! This should be a positive experience.
ThomasCareer: I think you just have to go for it. Good thing about an internship is it’s just a few months. If you find yourself in a bad internship, just be thankful it’s short term and you didn’t get stuck in a full time job you hate.
EricaLRoberts: Make sure the company culture fits your personality and working style. Have a list of what’s important to you before you apply. If you aren’t happy while there, talk to your boss about changing responsibilities – but don’t quit unless ABSOLUTELY necessary.
That about wraps it up – Thank you all SO MUCH for coming, and a huge special thanks to @YouTernMark for hosting tonight’s #ProCircles!