How To Land Your Dream Internship: Everything You Need To Know

Life is too short to not aim high and want to achieve everything you can. As a college student, sometimes it can be discouraging when we want to apply for certain internships but feel as if we won’t be able to get them or that we will be rejected for some reason. Within this post, we’ve curated everything you need to know to prepare yourself for how you can land that next internship and how to be prepared. It is very nerve-racking and can be an overwhelming time period too where you’re constantly applying to these and then hear no response.

Don’t hesitate, doubt yourself, or give those negative thoughts a chance at trying to take away these opportunities from yourself due to fear. Internships are not as hard as they seem and they can provide you with lifelong experience that you will always remember. Read along as we break down all the connections you need to make, where to apply, starting a passion project and more

If you love any of these tips and have gotten inspiration, leave a comment and let us know on our instagram @glamourandguide!

Lay Out A Plan For Your Goals

Everyone has goals that they want to accomplish and achieve in their lives. The difference between those who get them and those who don’t can sometimes be not having the right layout for how you’re going to get and check these goals off your list. If there’s a dream job you want at a company, you’re obviously not going to sit around and get any job that will take you and slack off in college. You’re going to try to get an internship, build up your resume, and connect with others or network to get where you want to be. It’s all in the work we do and without laying out these goals in front of us or having it visually, we most likely won’t be able to accomplish these things.

By laying out your daily, monthly and yearly goals, you are setting yourself up for success because you know that you are going to be looking at these goals consistently and trying to find ways to achieve them. For example, if you are a college student, write out what you want to do in the next year, after you graduate, and a 5 year goal list as well. It doesn’t matter if you don’t think these won’t come true because the negative thoughts you have need to be pushed away. Make yourself know and believe that you got this and everything you wrote down is going to happen.

Get excited and make it known privately, not publicly that you have this list for yourself and you are going to do everything you can to make sure you achieve it. Having it written out helps immensely because your thoughts are also way more organized in terms of what you’re going to be focusing on for the next few weeks, even months to a year.

Do The Research

You can’t just jump into wanting an internship without knowing the backends of it. Where do you want this internship to take place, will you be applying for both paid and unpaid, are you going to be focusing on a specific industry such as public relations, fashion, journalism, social media, etc.? You need to narrow down on what you’re going to be doing and go on Youtube to see if there’s other who have had these internships already and have experienced it. Listen to them speak about what they learned, or go on Google and see if there’s articles people have written on their experience working in the industry for that internship.

Find as much as you can on the internet about it and just make sure you know at least a little bit of background because sometimes internships and industries aren’t everything we pictured in our head and can consist of work we didn’t even think we would have to do until we’re faced with it. It’s better to be prepared and at least know what you’re going to be dealing with and working on.

Always look at when new internships are being published too because companies always start the hiring process months in advance. If you want an internship for the Summer of 2022, they begin in the Fall of 2021 to start hiring and recruiting everyone for the following summer. Every company is different, but typically the earlier the better so apply as fast and soon as possible.

Make a list of the top internships you want to apply to, and then a list of the least favorite ones you want so that you have a plan b incase the first list doesn’t go accordingly. But of course always aim high and shoot for your dream internship because you never know if you’re going to get it. Also, figure out what these internships are looking for ahead of time before applying. This means making sure that you meet their criteria of what kind of student or person they’re looking for. Some internships require certain degrees students have to be studying in order to even apply, or you have to be in a certain grade in college or high school as well.

Finding the best websites as well for applying to these internships isn’t that hard. LinkedIn and Indeed are the two websites I’ve previously used for dozens of internships. We’ve created a list below of a bunch of resources you can use on where to apply:

Connect and Reach Out To Others

One of the most underrated social media tools and apps that a lot of students and adults don’t realize is so important is LinkedIn. You will find absolutely everything you need on there and this is one of the perfect places for you to start connecting, messaging, and chatting with those in the industry you want to be in, or even those who have the job you’re looking to attain after you graduate college. Find people from your school that have already graduated, connect with them, and then when they accept it, message them and ask if you could chat with them for 15 minutes to ask questions on how they got to where they are today. There’s tons of articles and videos online that you can find on specific things you should and could ask these people, as well as how to even message them if you’re unsure.

The reason why you should be doing this is because you’re getting a real person’s point of view on how they graduated from your school, got the job their currently in, resources they used, internships they did, and any more information that can possibly help you. This does not mean copy what they did exactly and try to be in their shoes, but look at the steps they took, analyze it, and see how you can do this in your own way for the route you’re taking and what you want to do with your life.

Having a mentor and someone to look up to is also great because you already know someone in mind who has a life similar to what you want to achieve and you can use them as motivation to keep working hard and pushing to get to where they are, but in your own way. This can be someone you follow on social media, someone you know personally, or someone you see on LinkedIn who has achieved a lot of what your goals are.

Start A Passion Project

Starting a passion project doesn’t mean you need to invest thousands of dollars into a side hustle business and start selling products or anything like that. A passion project can simply be something you seriously love and are passionate about in your life that you want to share with the rest of the world or even your audience online. When I knew that I wanted to attend fashion school, I started a fashion blog in high school and dedicated myself to posting on this every week, even if I was feeling lazy or didn’t want to, and I would post on social media much more consistently in order to start seeing results on followers and direct them to my blog. This was an entire plan I had created in my head and I knew that my blog was something that I can work on for years to come, I can share all of my thoughts, ideas and passions freely online for anyone to read and that sounded so fun to me when I first had the idea.

Having something outside of school that you do in your free time is so important because you don’t want all of your devotion and energy to go towards not doing things that you genuinely enjoy and that are a hobby. If you don’t have a hobby, you can always find something to do and it’s not about turning it into a business, it’s about having something that you can go to and know that whatever mood you’re in, this is your outlet to get your mind off of everything else.

These are also great things to talk about in interviews whether it’s for an internship or a job because you are demonstrating that outside of school and clubs, you have passions and you dedicate your time to doing something that is strictly for you.

Figure Out Your ‘Why’ + Prepare For The Interview

Choosing to do an internship should not be just because you want to have something on your resume or to fill up gaps on your LinkedIn. It should be because you genuinely love the industry that you’re going to be working in and you know it’s going to benefit you in the long run. Why do you want to work for this company? Why are they going to be provide you with everything you’re looking for you? Why are they better than all the other companies you can apply to? Why do you think you’re a great fit there compared to others? These are all questions and more that you need to ask yourself to figure out why you want an internship in the first place, no matter who it is with.

Doing mock interviews with your friends, family, or even by yourself is a great way to get prepared for when you’re in front of the person at the office or over Zoom. There’s tons of resources online as well that you can look up interview questions people typically ask in the industry you’re going in and then practice those at home.

Don’t Give Up and Have Hope

Staying positive is something that not a lot of people can do when it comes to almost anything in life. This is because some people give up on themselves right away, they don’t think they’re qualified for what they want, they’re fearful it’s too much work and they won’t have the time or energy to do it, or some people are just lazy and truly don’t want to put the work in. No matter the reason for why you may be doubting yourself, write it all down on a piece of paper and then throw out this paper. Yes, physically write down all of your negative and toxic thoughts of why you don’t think you’re good enough and crumble it up, then throw it out. Getting this all out there means it’s out of sight, out of mind. Never focus on those things again and truly get your mind set on working to be the best version of yourself.

Whether you get your dream internship or not, it’s important to know that those decisions don’t define you as a person and if one place rejects you, another one that’s even better is coming your way.

Thank you so much for reading! 
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Author: Pamela Valdez

Content Writer Intern for She's SINGLE Magazine, Social Media Marketing Intern, and PR Editorial Intern for Access by NKC. Pursuing fashion industry and will be an upcoming undergraduate at FIT.