The Internship Application Process in 5 Easy Steps

For the typical college student, the beginning of the spring semester is a chance to relax before the stress caused by midterms and class projects. While you’re relaxing, take the time to start preparing to apply for summer internships. While some application deadlines have already passed, many have deadlines early in the spring. Taking steps to ensure you are prepared is important to your success. From updating your resume to making a lasting impression, the five steps below will help you be prepare effectively.

Graphic designed by Darah Lueck

Graphic designed by Darah Lueck

Step 1: Many agencies and corporations have different deadlines for their internship and job applications. Do your research and know the deadlines for each. If you’re looking for a place to start your search, check out our Internship Center, a database exclusive to PRSSA members.

It is important  to complete applications early because late applications are generally not accepted. You should start your search at the beginning of the semester and write deadlines in a calendar to prioritize what resumes and cover letters should be written first.

Step 2: Make sure that your resume is updated to show all of your accomplishments and follow the tips available in the Career Resources Manual. Additionally, a personalized cover letter will stand out more than a generic one. Write something that shows how you will contribute to the company and how they will benefit from hiring you. While your resume should always be updated, we recommend you start this process a couple weeks before the position’s deadline.

Step 3: After you narrow down your choices, apply. Most applications are available on the employer’s website, but each firm and corporation may have a different process.

Step 4: Before your interview do your research. Know about the company and the person who will be interviewing you. Being prepared to answer questions about yourself and how you will contribute to the company’s  success is important. Be sure to have a few questions for the interviewer as well; it will help show them your interest.  

Step 5: You aren’t done after your interview. After you leave, write a thank you note. If you know they will be making the decision quickly, an email will do, but a handwritten thank you goes a long way. Include a personal connection, or something that they will remember you by, and mention that you are looking forward to hearing from them soon.

While your internship application timeline may move at a different speed, hopefully these steps keep you on track even amidst spring semester stress. Don’t forget to check out the Internship Center and tweet all your internship-related questions to @veronica_min using #askPRSSACDM from January 18-22, 2016, for answers in real-time.

Micaela Benedetti is a senior public relations major at the University of Oklahoma. She is the president of the PRSSA Stewart Harral Chapter and  the assistant public relations director of the Nationally Affiliated Student-run Firm, Lindsey + Asp. The graphic design was done by Darah Lueck, an advertising major at the University of Oklahoma. She is an art director at its Nationally Affiliated Student-Run firm, Lindsey+Asp.

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