Too often, the pressures of new class schedules, quizzes and activities get in the way of starting the journey to scoring what will have a tremendous impact on your career—an internship. Looking for your ideal internship is a process that takes a long sequence of preparation to land in the right place. Here are three ways to start your internship search now:
Set Up Information Sessions
An important item on your list should be refining your focus. In the world of public relations, there are so many industries you can target. The three most common are corporate, nonprofit and agency. To learn more about different sections of the public relations industry, be sure to follow the Progressions PRSA Sections Series.
Information sessions will not only help you get a better idea of what industry might interest you most, they also connect you directly with the people who may have an impact on selecting interns in the future.
Although group information sessions can be a great activity to add to your Chapter’s schedule, there is a lot of value in running solo. By doing so, you’re not only able to pick what most interests you, but you can also maximize your connections with the staff you encounter during your visit.
Get a Mentor
If you truly want to propel your career forward, you’re going to need a mentor.
Mentors are key figures in your development as a pre-professional. Truly resourceful mentors also have the connections to help point you in the right direction when it comes to internships. But they can offer so much more than that.
It takes more than connections to truly stand out in today’s competitive world. You need to be able to differentiate yourself while practicing professional etiquette. These are areas mentors can help you with immediately.
Start Designing Your Resume and Cover Letter
I can’t tell you how many resumes I receive that are generic and thrown together. And don’t even get me started about cover letters.
This is the result of procrastination and hurrying materials together at the last minute. Even if you don’t have all of the experiences you want, start designing your resume and cover letter templates now. You’ll have more time to refine and polish them into standout pieces. It takes time to get these into their best formats and can include many rounds of revisions and redesigns.
Seek out creative templates for a personal touch. You may also want to consider recruiting that talented graphic designer on campus to help you with your personal brand in the process.
These will come in handy when it’s finally time to start applying for your ideal internship.
How are you starting your internship search now?
Ben Butler is an entrepreneur and marketing communications professional. He’s the founder of a public relations and branding firm, Top Hat IMC, director of inbound partnerships at an inbound marketing agency and head of communications at a SaaS startup. You can connect with Ben on LinkedIn and on Twitter @BenButlerPR.