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Securing an awesome internship is a crucial step for many individuals looking to gain valuable work experience and launch their careers. We will outline five essential steps that can help you succeed in the internship hiring process.

Firstly, we will explore the importance of understanding your goals and aligning them with potential internships. Next, we’ll discuss networking strategies that can help you connect with professionals in your desired field. We will then guide you through researching companies to find opportunities that match your interests and qualifications.

In addition, our expert advice on preparing an outstanding resume will ensure you stand out from the competition when applying for internships. Lastly, we’ll emphasize the significance of applying early in order to maximize your chances of landing that perfect opportunity. Here is our advice to securing a satisfying internship:

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Understand Your Career Goals

Before starting the process, it’s crucial to have a clear understanding of your career goals. That allows you to identify the internships and organizations that are a fit for your short and long-term goals.

1. Defining Your Career Direction

Determine the best path forward by considering factors such as job satisfaction, growth opportunities, company culture, and geographic preferences.

Research Relevant Industries & Career Paths

Once you’ve identified your career goals, explore various jobs and organizations that are aligned with them by conducting thorough research online or seeking guidance from professionals within those sectors. This will give you valuable insights into different roles available within each industry and help you to identify the skills required to get hired.

Talk to Professionals: Reach out to people working in positions similar to what you’re interested in pursuing for advice about internships they might have done or know about.

Online Research: Use websites like Glassdoor and LinkedIn and school alumni directories to get information about companies, their work culture, employee reviews, etc.

Create a Targeted List of Potential Employers

Based on your research, create a targeted list of companies that you are interested in. This will save time during the application process and help you to start networking with current employees of the company.

In summary, understanding your career goals is the first step towards finding an internship that aligns with them. Conduct thorough research into relevant industries and fields before narrowing down potential employers based on factors such as company culture and growth opportunities. By doing so, you’ll be equipped to launch a targeted search that will meet your short-term and long-term career goals.

2. Networking

One of the most effective ways to secure an internship is through networking. Building connections with professionals in your desired industry can lead to valuable information about available opportunities and referrals for internships. Here are some strategies to expand your network and increase your chances of getting hired for an internship:

Utilize Your Existing Network

Your existing network is a great starting point when searching for internships. Connect with your existing contacts such as family, friends, professors, to uncover internships in the industries you are interested in. Ask for introductions to their connections at their current company or other relevant companies. It is possible that they can connect you with someone who can introduce you to an internship opportunity.

Leverage Social Media Platforms

Make the most of social media platforms to expand your professional network. Follow companies you’re interested in and engage with their content by commenting or sharing on LinkedIn. Identify alumni from your high school or college to connect with at specific companies. This not only helps you stay informed about potential internship opportunities but also demonstrates your genuine interest in the organization.

Join Professional Associations

Becoming a member of relevant professional associations can provide access to exclusive networking events, job boards, and resources specifically for students seeking internships within that industry. Many associations offer discounted membership rates for students - take advantage of this opportunity to make valuable connections.

In summary, networking plays a crucial role in landing an internship. By leveraging both online and offline strategies such as utilizing social media platforms effectively, joining professional associations, along with making use of existing networks, you will significantly increase your chances of success.

3. Researching Companies

Before applying for internships, it’s crucial to research potential employers thoroughly. By understanding the company culture, values, and expectations for interns, you can tailor your application materials accordingly and increase your chances of securing a position.

Identify Potential Employers

Generate a list of organizations that are compatible with your career goals, and those companies that offer valuable internship experiences or those that have previously hired interns from your college or university. Use resources like LinkedIn, Glassdoor, and Handshake to identify opportunities.

Evaluate Company Culture & Values

It is important to research the company culture. Visit their website to understand its purpose, core beliefs, workplace setting, and diversity efforts. Read online reviews from current employees or former interns on sites like Glassdoor to gain insight into the overall experience.

Understand Internship Requirements & Expectations

Read the job descriptions carefully for any specific requirements including major, GPA, year of graduation, technology skills, etc. Pay attention to the application deadlines and materials required for submission, including cover letters, application prompts, transcript, references, writing samples, etc. If there is no application deadline posted, submit your materials as soon as possible as the job posting can be taken down at any time. Lastly, make sure you pay attention to whether this is a paid position or one where you are required to receive academic credit.

4. Preparing Your Resume, Customizing for Each Application

Crafting a well-rounded resume is essential for any internship application as it will likely have to pass an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) to be shortlisted. It is also important because it offers potential employers an overview of your qualifications, experiences, and successes. To maximize your chances of moving forward, ensure that your resume is tailored to the specific internship you are applying for, reflects up-to-date information, and aligns with your LinkedIn profile.

Highlight Relevant Skills & Experiences

When listing your skills on your resume, prioritize those most relevant to the desired internships - such as technical abilities, communication skills or leadership aptitude - while also showcasing any transferable competencies from previous roles or academic projects. If you have prior work experience related to the field, make sure it stands out by providing concise descriptions of responsibilities held and achievements made. In case you lack direct professional exposure but possess applicable coursework or extracurricular activities, emphasize them within their respective sections.

Add any awards received during college years which may highlight exceptional performance in relevant areas.

Customize Your Resume for Each Application

Given the widespread use of Applicant Tracking Systems, it’s essential to tailor your resume for each application. Analyze the job description and identify key requirements or qualifications that you can address in your resume.

Edit & Proofread Thoroughly

A well-written and error-free resume is essential and demonstrates your attention to detail - a trait valued by employers. Make sure to edit and proofread your document before submitting and consider using online resources like Grammarly which can help detect errors and improve overall content.

5. Applying Early

One of the most crucial aspects of securing an awesome internship is to start your search and application process as early as possible. By applying early, you increase your chances of landing an internship that aligns with your career goals and provides valuable work experience in your desired industry.

Be Aware of Applications Deadlines for your Specific Area of Interest

Financial Services, and specifically Investment Banking, start their recruitment process as early as January of sophomore year for internships commencing the summer after junior year. Start tracking application release dates and submission deadlines early and submit your materials as early as possible. Interviewing will start early, and offers are extended primarily during the second semester of sophomore year. Management Consulting firms also start their recruitment process early with information sessions in the spring of sophomore year for internships starting the summer following junior year. Applications for the top firms are generally released at the end of June and interviews will commence in July/August. For other internships, it is important to determine if the recruitment starts in late summer/fall semester of junior year or spring semester of junior year.


By understanding your goals, networking, researching companies, preparing your resume, and applying early, you can increase your chances of getting hired for your desired internship.

Persistence and commitment can assist in attaining an internship that will facilitate the attainment of career objectives.

If you’re ready to take the next step in securing an internship, learn more about our Internship Coaching Program.

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