How to … Get an internship


Photo: @citizensarchive on Instagram 

 Finding an internship in competitive fields is tough, but using online and tech resources can help with applications.  

Gianna Cocovinis, Staff Writer

If you’re a rising junior or even a rising senior, you might be starting to consider an internship for the spring, summer or fall semester. Internships are a great way to get some experience in the field you’re planning on heading into. They help you figure out what you like, what you don’t like, and maybe if you’re lucky, they’ll help you secure a job once you graduate. For all the good they do, however, the steps of finding an internship you really want and landing yourself at that company can be a long and confusing process.  

The first step is to have a solid resume. Take your time mapping out all your strengths, various jobs you might’ve had, and any cool awards/acknowledgements you might have gotten in years past. Along with resumes, there’s the extra bonus content page known as the cover letter. It acts as a personal introduction and helps you sell your application by offering deeper insight into who you are beyond just every other applicant. This is your chance to show what brought you to applying, what your interests and skills are, and how you are going to apply for an internship with their company.  

There are plenty of resume and cover letter templates you can find online, but Iona is great in that we have our own resource center that helps you create and sharpen your resume to perfection. The Gerri Ripp Center for Career Development should be one of your first stops to making your resume. There are plenty of people available to help you find the right way to word a specific skill or advise you on where to apply for your specific skillset.  

Speaking of applying, once your resume’s polished and ready to be sent out, there are a plethora of websites and online resources to help you spread your net as far and as wide as you can. Browse the local school database known as “Handshake” but quickly move on to exploring the internship opportunities posted by various companies on LinkedIn, ZipRecruiter and various other job sites specific to your major and area you want to work in. It’s important to interact with these sites as much as possible; the more you interact with the site, the better the algorithm gets to know what you’re looking for, and that will only help your search as more opportunities find their way to your message boards. Apply to as many internships that spark your interest, and then some.  

Then it’s time for interviews. Be prepared! That means do as much research on your company as possible. It’s not necessary to deep dive into your interviewer’s LinkedIn or know their favorite ice cream flavor, but it gives the interviewer a good feeling if they can see you have a good sense of what their company’s about and are interested in what they do beyond just securing a job for the summer.  

Interviews can last anywhere from twenty minutes to an hour, but if you go in there with a calm, collected head, a positive attitude and a little bit of background research on your company, your interviewer will read that confidence and know you are a good fit. In the days after the interview, don’t forget to send a thank you email detailing your appreciation for their time and how you look forward to hearing back from them soon.  

The process isn’t a hard one, but it can take time, so save yourself some stress and take it slow and start it in advance. It’s important to remember that any company would be lucky to work with you, it’s all about finding the right fit and keeping an open mind to anything that might come your way. There’s no set path to finding your own internship, everyone’s journey of finding one is different.