Among the many plights a college student faces, landing a good internship may be the most daunting. How do you find one? How do you keep one? What’s the best way to stand out? Four NYU students shared their tips for getting the best possible internships.
The first step to acquiring your dream internship is finding it. Steinhardt senior Frances Nieves found her marketing and communications internship with the Sony Sing Shop through her boss.
“A speaker from the Sony Sing Shop named Jessica Shaw came to speak to my class last year, and I thought her job was really cool,” Nieves said. “At the time, I was interning at Monophonics and I mentioned to my boss that I thought her job was cool and he just happened to know her. So he put me in touch.”
Networking inside and outside of the classroom provides effective channels to sharing your resume and getting great recommendations. Knowing someone from a networking event or previous job can lead to new relationships and possible connections to that perfect summer internship. However, a well-crafted resume is essential when creating these connections.
LS freshman Ghania Chaudry currently interns at the Permanent Mission of Pakistan to the United Nations, a website about global and Pakistan’s involvement in the U.N. When on the job, Chaudry often attends U.N. General Assembly meetings on peacekeeping operations to take notes for her boss. Chaudry recommends styling your resume to suit the position you’re after, whatever your past employment record may be.
“I just worked as a hostess at an IHOP, but the way I wrote it on my resume was that I led the hostess team,” Chaudry said. “I made it very professional.”
Highlight qualities of your jobs or extracurriculars that include leadership, collaboration with others, customer service and management skills. These aspects of working — in any environment — show future employers that you have the experience and skills to handle an internship.
Tisch junior Sam Fischer interns at Red Crown Productions and Stay Gold Features. He found his position through a blog crafted for the NYU film and television program. After submitting a resume and attending an interview, Fischer found that knowing the key players of both the company and the industry turned his interview from a meeting to a discussion of cinematic interests and concerns.
“Do your homework,” Fischer said. “It helps to research who you are interviewing with. It helps to have some general sense of who I’m talking to when I walk into an interview. I think that helped me get the internship. I was able to take what was otherwise a pretty standard interview and turn it into a very intelligent discussion.”
Understanding the background of an interviewer or prospective boss can make all the difference when vying for your ideal internship. Knowing an executive’s latest projects, alma mater and how they found their way into the field offers great conversation points to set you apart from the crowd.
After you’ve nabbed your position as the intern, it’s time to show your new colleagues what you can do. But how do you dazzle a boss with your strong initiative when you’re limited to completing menial tasks? Nieves believes that your attitude and work ethic play a significant role in how your employer treats you.
“Take your position seriously,” Nieves said. “Be confident that you know what you’re doing, but don’t be afraid to ask questions. Go in there and do a good job at what they tell you do, and they’re going to give you more responsibilities based on that.”
This is Nieves’ second semester as an intern at the Sony Sing Shop for Sony Music. Thanks to the outstanding job she did in her first semester with the company, her supervisors asked her back personally.
Keeping up with your work — whether it’s getting coffee, attending meetings, reading scripts or making copies — illustrates dedication and productivity in the workplace, both qualities companies look for in employees.
Landing your dream internship takes hard work, but with some networking, a killer cover letter, intriguing interview talking points and some fortitude, you’ll turn that unemployed status into an internship in no time.
Email Maya Nann at [email protected]