We’ve all heard that getting an internship before you graduate is important. Why is it important? It’s important because it gives you experience. You may become experienced in making coffee runs and standing by the copy machine for what seems like hours on end or you may actually land an internship that will take the time to teach you things that will help you with a job when you graduate. I’m going to give you some tips on how to land an awesome internship that will want to teach you and provide you with experience that will help you when you graduate.
1) DO YOUR RESEARCH. Take your internship opportunity as seriously as you would a job opportunity. Know as much as you can about the company. Know their products and/or services like the back of your hand. Buy their product or go check it out in stores and form an honest opinion on it. They may ask “What do you know about our product?” or “What would you change about our product?” Be prepared to show that you’ve done your research.
2) Look at the BIG PICTURE. Make sure you know what you want. Getting into something you may not be interested in could end up being a big waste of your time as well as the companies time. Make sure that you can commit the necessary time to being successful at your internship and that you put forth your best effort. Let them know that you want to be there and that you’re happy to do whatever it takes to help the company be successful. These tips will also help you once you graduate and find a job. My suggestion would be to start practicing them at your internship so that you will be able to comfortably step into a position with a company after graduation.
3) PASSION beats GPA. When interviewing for your internship most companies will want to know your GPA. Your GPA is obviously an important factor but besides that make sure you express that you are passionate about something. What’s something that gets you excited? What fires you up? What can you talk about for hours? Find something about the particular company you are researching and see how you can take your passion for something and translate it into something the company has or does. This will leave a lasting impression on the interviewer.
Lots of internships can potentially turn into jobs once you graduate so treat it like a job whether you’re working for free or not. Make connections and do whatever you can to help (even if it is running to pick up lunch for the office every now and then).