10 Steps to Internship Success

Below are steps to goal expression, and, ultimately, internship, research and post-commencement success. Additional information for each step (click link) describes services, and resources to facilitate your efforts. Counselors assist as you transform steps into strategies and, soon, desired goals. Seminars offered multiple times per week also provide information crucial to your needs and steps to take.

1. Set and Articulate Goals
When asked, you do not have to state lifelong goals, but simply express immediate and short-term academic and experiential options. Transforming “what can I do with academic curiosities and competencies, a major, minor, or cluster in” questions to “what can I now do to attain field, function and firm targets” is crucial to all subsequent steps. Attaining internship, research, shadowing and other experiences is easiest done with clearly expressed goals.

2. Develop Targeted Documentation
Draft, finalize, then distribute resumes, cover letters, networking notes, follow up messages, applications and materials supporting your candidacy for internships, fellowships, research, and special programs. Have counselors critique and teach you to target documents prior to submission.

3. Create Target Lists
Create and constantly refine lists of potential internship sites, programs and other goal targeted options. Use on-line and print sources to develop a list of persons, places, programs and organizations. Handshake and National Internship Consortium are among many web-resources you should use.

4. Network for Information and Consideration
Network for information, to establish and articulate goals and determine potential majors, clusters or courses. Network for consideration to seek interviews and, ultimately, internships, research or shadowing experiences. The Career and Internship Center and Alumni Relations regularly plan and host events you should attend.

5. Respond to posted and publicized opportunities
Use electronic postings, program websites, as well as on- and off-campus recruiting resources. Don’t depend on reactive efforts, including postings in Handshake, CareerShift, National Internship Consortium, Idealist, and many other internship posting sites, but do maximize your abilities to do so effectively.

6. Implement Proactive Self-Initiated Efforts
Confirm contact information, then e-mail, or submit resumes, cover letters, and support materials to people, places or programs on your target list and in your network. Inform as many as possible, as often as possible, about goals and actions.

7. Follow Up, Follow Up, Follow Up
Communicate regularly with potential contacts, and network members by e-mail or phone. Persistently and politely seek consideration, advice, referrals, education and support and keep all informed of your progress.

8. Interview
Communicate motivations and, most importantly, qualifications by phone, Skype, and in person. Always prepare prior to these special “conversations with a purpose.”

9. Take Classes, Volunteer, Complete a Project, Shadow, Conduct Information Conversations, or Complete a Fee-based Program
All are viable options that can ultimately yield a project or more formal internship or research experience. While classes and programs have costs, they are investments worth making. Explore and act on all options.

10. Receive, Analyze, Then Accept One Offer
Via post-offer analysis, negotiation and communication address special circumstances, get answers to questions, and request time for your decision. Once you accept an offer, all efforts seeking consideration cease! Think about Reach Funding.