When you hit your junior year of college you suddenly hear the word internship thrown around a lot. It sounds something like “oh, I interned for this very elite company in Seattle,” or “you will need to update your resume if you ever want to get an internship.”
Suddenly you realize that maybe waltzing into an office and handing them a resume with a list of your college achievements may not suffice. You need the real life experience that your fellow students are getting.
So how do you find an internship?
Google. Search high and low for whatever opportunities there are that relate to your major. Once you’ve compiled a long list of numbers and email addresses, start contacting them. It’s important not to be shy or doubt yourself. Chances are most of the businesses you call “won’t be looking for an intern at the moment,” or simply won’t ever answer your call. Don’t give up.
When I set out to find my internship I called almost every advertising agency in Anchorage that I could find, yet most of the companies that said they would get back to me never did. By chance, I happened to come across a growing startup agency, Beacon Media + Marketing on Facebook. At this point I doubted they were even looking, but sent them a message on Facebook just to make sure.
Lo and behold someone actually contacted me and told me I could send in a resume and a cover letter. I did so eagerly, and before I knew it, I was meeting with them for an interview to discuss interning for the summer. During the interview I expressed my eagerness to work with them and my desire to meet all of their expectations. To my pure delight, I was offered the internship.
Some may not be as excited for a smaller agency as they are for the big corporate offices in major cities. I think those people are mistaken. I have learned that working with a small agency (I work in a comfortable sized office with five other women) offers many benefits you would never get when you are working in a giant building and have little recognition by your employers.
Instead of feeling inferior, I was immediately welcomed into their small family-like office. I was able to learn their dynamic quickly and where I fit in. When working in a small office, you get to know each other faster. This makes it easier to walk up and ask your boss a question, or in some cases swivel in your chair and call out your questions. At Beacon I feel like part of a team, which makes it easier for me to learn and get a full experience
So when looking for an internship, don’t be afraid to be persistent and try all your options. If the opportunity for a small business presents itself, don’t immediately snub your nose at it. There is a good chance it will be a lot more beneficial and rewarding than you think.