Landing a summer internship is one of the best ways for graduates to secure a full-time job after graduation. These summer internships are the key to getting your foot in the door of your industry of choice, learn some necessary skills and meet the influential movers and shakers. Before this, you may have
Never assume it’s too late.
While sought after industries such as finance and consulting tend to recruit their interns before graduation there are always a number of untapped opportunities waiting for the late comers to take advantage. This does not mean we recommend waiting until the last minute, in fact entirely the opposite, the old idiom of the early bird catching the worm is very true. However for the lazy birds never assume it is too late. Companies may decide last minute to open some additional intern positions or another intern may fail to show up leaving an open opportunity. Whatever the reason the next few weeks are crucial.
Rather than feeling defeated that everyone else has landed their internship, now is the time to get your head down and focus on your job search for the next two, three or more weeks. Create a job search schedule to make sure you stay on track and don’t get disheartened.
Networking over Resumes
Double your effort with all your job search activity which inevitably will include resumes, but focus more energy on networking. Resumes, while important, are not the key for last minute internship hunting. They take a long time to get through the system and you never know exactly if the right person is reading them. Get out in front of the right people, attend networking events and make sure all the right people know you are looking for an internship.
Networking = Feedback
Contact friends and friends of friends, ask influential people in the industry for an informational interview, meet them for a coffee and ask their advice. Talk to family friends, the university career services or your professor. The more people you talk to the more feedback and potential leads you’ll get.
Just because the hiring manager said you were not a good fit for one role doesn’t mean another won’t be the perfect fit. No generally can be interpreted as ‘Not Now’. Politely and respectfully, try again and let the hiring manager know how you have changed and improved since you last spoke. If a family or friend’s introduction doesn’t get back to you, don’t be afraid to nudge them again asking for a coffee date. People generally want to be helpful.
Don’t get hung up on an ‘official’ internship program
Most businesses will offer a work experience scheme, whether it be an official internship programme or not. For most recruiters if you can prove that you have real-world experience working in a business learning valuable vocational skills you can convert them to compliment any industry. For example just because your summer job is working in a movie theater doesn’t mean it is not valuable, but you have to make it so. Pay attention to how the business works and all its moving parts, take on as much responsibility as you can and get promoted. Before you know it you have experience in sales, admin, customer service and managerial skills.