First of all, almost everyone told me: “Don’t even try, a summer internship in NYC is too hard to get!” and that was the worse they could tell me, because I love challenges!
The truth is, thousands of college students want a summer internship in NYC, not only those who attend a college in the city but also across the United States and abroad so you end up competing with people with much experience, who probably go to an Ivy League and most likely have sat down for dinner with Obama. Because of this, I’ve come up with a list on how to stand out among all of them.
At the end of my (exhausting) internship search process I was offered a position in 3 companies but ended up accepting 2 of them, making my summer a combination of my two passions: digital media and technology!Tip #1: APPLY as much as you possibly can and while doing so, shoot for the moon! Don’t let big companies scare you. These two being my first internships, people recommended I applied to a startup or a smaller company, but I didn’t listen and I only applied to big companies I was in love with. Often times, missing parties or hangouts with friends, I spend most of my second semester applying for summer internships- even during my vacations in Puerto Rico!
Tip #2: POLISH YOUR RESUME. Even though I didn’t have corporate experience, I have always been very involved in my college. I’ve assumed leadership roles in different clubs and organizations, these served as proof of my responsibility and important skills, employers are often looking for, so get involved in school and show you know how to spend your time!
Tip #3: NETWORK like is your job. I went above and beyond to find events to attend related to my career. After each event ended, I stayed longer to introduce myself to the speaker and I asked for their contact info afterwards.
Tip #4: FOLLOW-UP! This might be one of the most important steps in your search process. You want your contacts to remember you and to know how interested you are in working for their company, but without being annoying. A quick email thanking them for chatting with you it’s a good way to establish a connection with them.
Tip #5: CURATE YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA PRESENCE. I cannot emphasize how important your social profiles are. At least for my career choice, these are often looked by HR staff and verified. Employers have told me they’ve seen my Instagram account and blog prior to my interview and have complimented me for them so create good and clean content, stay active and relevant in social media and be creative!
Tip #6: INTERVIEW. If there’s the possibility of meeting in person, take it! Putting your face and personality to a piece of paper will take you far! We cannot describe our potential in just one-page resume so make sure you get to meet with the employer in person because this interaction will definitely determine if you are given the position or not.
Tip #7: STAY DETERMINED. I honestly didn’t keep count of the internships I applied to, some replied with a rejection email, others I didn’t even heard back from. You are going to get rejected, but you have to stay focused and believe in yourself (as corny as it sounds). Opportunities often times come when you least expect them, you just got to be prepared and ready to shine!
Tip #8: ENCOURAGE YOURSELF! Often times I got discouraged and thought negatively about the process. I even said, “I’m not going to make it” and “I’m not good enough” but I didn’t give up. I always showed my passion for the company, my fast learning skills and my entrepreneurial personality and that’s ultimately what employers want: DRIVE.