Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Tips and Tricks: Finding An Internship

This is something I always, always, always stress to people in college- get an internship. Get multiple internships. Get an internship within your major but in a field you maybe hadn't thought about before. Spend your summer interning, get a virtual one during the school year. No matter what, intern.

At Hofstra, students in the School of Communication are required to have 3 credits of internships. Sometimes people complain, but in my opinion if they weren't required people would slack off and never bother applying.

I have already had two internships and a freelancing position, and I just started my fourth (!!) semester of college. To some people, I'm ahead of the game. Personally, I feel like I'm behind. I'm currently in the process of applying for summer internships and I'm already looking at potential options for the fall.

There is nothing more important in college, in my opinion, than getting an internship. It gives you a tremendous amount of experience that you can not learn in the classroom. My first internship was last summer at Newsweek and The Daily Beast, and the skills I learned, connections I made, and experience I gathered was invaluable.

So, how do you find an internship? First of all, be glad that you live in the age of the Internet and Google. I found my Daily Beast internship while searching 'summer 2013 internships new york city.' A link to their Tumblr page popped up, and I quickly sent them a tweet asking how I could apply. They responded, and I was soon in contact with their social media editor. By the end of the week, I had an interview. I found my College Tourist internship through Intern Queen and applied via the website.

Some sites like or InternMatch provide lists of internships in your field or city. If you want to intern with a particular company, look at their website for applications; if you don't find any, try cold e-mailing someone in the company to inquire about applying. Talk to previous connections from other internships or jobs and see if they know anyone. You never know, that guy in your biology class might have an uncle who is a producer for Good Morning America!

Something else people often complain about is the lack of paid internships, especially in the journalism industry. Yes, you will probably have to work for free- I did. And I learned a lot from it. Interning is not about making money, that's what jobs are for. Internships are about gaining work experience and meeting people that will help you to land your dream job somewhere down the line. Lauren Berger, founder of Intern Queen, had 15 internships in college!

So work for free (as long as your school allows you to earn college credit at the same time!), always be looking at applications, talk to people, and intern as often as possible. College is the only time in your life when you have the opportunity to learn so much!

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