10 Steps to Land Your First Internship

a picture of an intern name tag

So, you’re thinking about landing your first internship but not sure how to go about it on your own? Don’t worry, We’ve got you covered!

1. Gain experience – Most reputable internships usually want an intern with some type of experience, the easiest way to gain experience is at your school and by volunteering. (I’m a media & communications major so I joined the community blog initially, now I’m part of the CUNY SPS Kiosk.)

2. Join a club – Join a club or a student association that is built to cater to whatever field you’re majoring in. This looks great on a resume. Clubs and associations are also a wonderful way to meet with like-minded people, network, and get access to exclusive events. (I joined the National Association of Hispanic Journalist, CUNY Chapter.)

3. Career Services – Make use of the career services at your school. They are professionals and they know what they’re doing. Use them for mock interviews, to review your resume, career advice, and to generally help you in your search for an internship. (I used career services to have them review my resume.)

4. Figure it out – Figure out what kind of internship you are looking for. It should be in relation to the type of career you would like to have in your chosen field. (For me, I wanted to get either an editorial or social media internship)

5. Apply Endlessly – If you’re in a highly competitive field, I would suggest that you apply to numerous internship opportunities. (I can’t tell you how many internships I applied to and only one responded, but one is all you need to get you started.)

6. Ask – Ask for help in your search.  Hey, you never know, you may know somebody, who knows somebody, who knows somebody! (I, unfortunately, didn’t know somebody at the time so I got my internship through sheer persistence.)

7. Resume – Your resume is the first thing that people see and you should have someone else look at it, as I stated earlier. Also, if you’re in a creative field, then it may be a good idea to have an unconventional resume. (I have my standard resume and I have my unconventional resume. I used Canva.com to make it.)

8. Interview – Prepare for your interview, read articles about common interview questions, do a mock interview, know how to answer the basic interview questions that they will ask you. (For ex. tell me about yourself, why do you want to intern here, etc.) Also, do some research on the organization you’re interviewing for.

9. Follow Up Email – Follow up emails are important after an interview. Send an email expressing your gratitude towards the opportunity of being considered as an intern and thank them for their time. Remember to keep it brief – short, and sweet. (I always send one.)

10. You Got It! – Be the best intern you can be. Don’t act like you’re too good to do any of the small stuff and don’t be afraid to go above and beyond in what is asked of you.

For more information on internships, a good resource is the CUNY SPS Career Services office. Reach out to them on their website at sps.cuny.edu/careerservices, via email at career.services@sps.cuny.edu, or in person on the 4th floor of the CUNY SPS building at 119 West 31st Street.

Happy interning!

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