Are you looking for an internship for this spring or summer semester? If yes, you’re in the right place, because I’m about to spill all the secrets of snagging your dream internship.
First, while I’m sure you’re the most talented and hardworking individual your future employer could find, you’re probably just like the thousand other anxious students who are furiously editing their resumes and contacting their newest suggested LinkedIn members (who probably work at Google). Second, the only advantage you have is that you’re now reading this carefully compiled, not-at-all-rushed to-do list to get that internship of your dreams. Let’s get started!
Step 1: Do your research.
Shortlist the companies that you want to apply to. Of course, if you don’t have any leverage, you may as well apply to every company possible in the state, or the continental U.S., or maybe even abroad. Just for safety, you know? How else are you going to harangue every single employee of that “dream” company over the next few months? You absolutely must have some “safe,” “reach,” and “dream” companies. Yes, this is the Hunger Games of adult life. What? You thought that ordeal would be over once you got into college?
Step 2: Understand what the company needs.
While knitting is a cool hobby, companies are probably not looking for expert knitters. (Honestly, why not?) Of course, knitting will be very useful when you don’t get an internship and you run out of money. Your parents will refuse to support you because who supports a man/woman-child? Knitting will keep you warm because you can’t afford to buy sweaters anymore and that will be your life forever.
Step 3: Build your skills accordingly.
You probably should’ve done some project or learned an extra skill or two in your desired field. You didn’t, though, and all those who did are thanking you for it because your “just one more episode” moments on Netflix helped them get an edge over you. They’ll continue to win in life while you read self-improvement blogs and watch hours of YouTube videos telling you how to stop procrastinating while you procrastinate on that homework you just can’t get done.
Step 4: Flaunt your GPA.
You can’t flaunt what you don’t got. Proceed to watch another Netflix show and cry yourself to sleep.
Step 5: Edit that resume.
You can’t still use the same resume you used when you applied to college. Of course, you can procrastinate on that and…you know how this ends.
Step 6: Network, network, network!
I am pretty sure you’re as tired of hearing this as I am of writing this. How do you even network? With whom should you network? How do you make people like you? You’ll never know. Continue stalking people on LinkedIn. It’s definitely not creepy and they’re completely unaware of what you really want from them.
Step 7: Attend intern fairs.
Yes, attend them even though you have no idea what to do at intern fairs. You mostly need to carry your resume in a file and look professional. Take pictures before the event because you don’t want a tear-smudged face ruining your Facebook post. Meanwhile, be sure to talk about vague stuff and make no impression upon the recruiter as you drift from stall to stall.
Bonus tip: When they ask what you can do for them, don’t ever say, “I can do whatever you want ;)”.
Step 8: Hopefully, get selected for interviews.
Congratulations! You made it this far. You must have something that the company’s looking for and now they want to speak with you. You’ll soon hear that all your peers and friends have also been selected for the same interview and that warm, gooey feeling you got from being selected is gone. Time to knit another sweater maybe?
Step 9: Cracking the (coding) interview.
All the computer science people know that that’s the title of a very famous book, but the other, peasant people (amirite, CS folks?) can thank me for sharing this useless trivia. Practice your interview answers and research the company and position in question. Secretly try to find any possible relative or family friend in the company to help your chances. Hey, wasn’t your great grandmother’s cousin’s granddaughter’s second son in Google?
Step 10: Send thank you notes.
Not sure why because most get thrown in the trash as soon as they come, but send them in anyway and waste the last of your meal money in hopes of getting a second interview call.
Step 11: Anxiously refresh your email.
You must check your email every ten minutes. They say it helps them reach your inbox faster.
Step 12: Get one offer and proudly show it off on Facebook.
Go ahead and write the cheesy posts and do the humble brag: “It is such an honor to…” “Such a privilege…” “Absolutely humbled…” “Look forward to…” We all hate you, but this is your moment and you don’t care.