Summer internships: How to land your dream role

Julia Fabrizio, Assistant Features Editor

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Approaching the internship application process can be extremely daunting. Between finding the internship job postings, creating your resume and cover letter, and then actually doing well in your interview, it can be very stressful.

Summer can be a particularly tricky time to get a summer internship because students who go to school out of state are returning home and adding to the potential applicant pool. The best way to land a summer internship is to take advantage of all your resources and approach the applications with a logical mindset.

Before you apply anywhere, you need to make sure you have completed your resume. Typically, your resume should feature your contact information, an objective or profile section, a list of skillsets, your previous work and internship experience, any leadership roles you have at school and your education information.

It is especially helpful if you take advantage of the resources we have here on campus; the Gerri Ripp Center for Career Development in Spellman Hall is a good place to go to get feedback on your resume. They will sit down and go over everything with you so you know how to best craft your resume in the future. Additionally, they offer you the option of mock interviews, allowing you to practice before going in in real life.

After your resume is completed to your satisfaction, you can start looking for job postings. There are many resources online, including LinkedIn and Indeed, where you can easily find job postings from a myriad of companies, simply by searching for keywords like “internship,” your desired field and your location.

Another job search website that Iona students should take advantage of is Handshake. Through Iona, we get access to Handshake’s services, which include job postings and career events. Handshake also gives students a chance to network with alumni, which can be a great resource when you are first entering the job market.

If all else fails, meet with your advisor for further advice regarding internships. After all, their job is to help further your education experience. And who knows? Maybe they have an opportunity they can help set you up with.

Once you have found an internship listing that seems to be a good fit for you, you can write your cover letter. You want to make sure your cover letter is tailored to the specific job you are applying for. Stress your skills but also be sure to describe why you would make a good fit in this specific position. A generic cover letter won’t help you stand out among other applicants, so it is important that your letter is specific to the job. Head over to the Gerri Ripp Career Center in Spellman for more help.

Now that you found your desired job and submitted your resume and cover letter, you can finally relax a little – but only just a little – because you still haven’t secured the position. That said, waiting to hear back on whether or not you got the internship may take some time, and sometimes companies don’t even get back to you at all. Your best bet is to just keep applying to internships and hopefully with the more applications you fill out, the more likely you will be to hear back from a company.

If you are lucky enough to hear back from a company you applied to, first of all, congratulations! Now it’s time to nail your interview. Again, the Gerri Ripp Center for Career Development is a great resource, because they can help you practice with mock interviews. To be confident for your interview, make sure you are familiar with the company and job you are applying for. You should also prepare some questions to ask the interviewer yourself. It is especially helpful to arrive 10-15 minutes early.

“Personally, I think it’s best to be professional during an interview, but don’t be afraid to be yourself,” junior Simone Guidry said. “Crack a joke or ask if they watched a certain sporting match the night before. They’re people, too – it’s okay to talk to them as such.”

After accessing all the steps of the internship application process, hopefully it doesn’t seem as stressful. You just need to put in the time to complete all the steps, and you should be fine. Best of luck