The best advice I heard in 2013 was from a BizTalk Blender at the University of Nevada, Reno. Alice Heiman LLC, a sales expert and professional networking genius, told us management majors this: to take advantage of being an undergraduate, take that one-time-in-your-life ticket to seize opportunities, get mentored by local professionals and their experiences in various industries, pursue that internship and seize all the knowledge we can from our professors. Above all else, she said to network. Always. Network. You never know whom you may run into and how they can help you (and how you might be able to help him or her). We were put in groups with seasoned industry professionals in the area, ranging from human resources generalists to engineers, and spoke about tactics to use on LinkedIn, internship questions of importance, and broadcasting a positive and professional image.
The one detail that caught my attention….Internship. I knew I wanted one and I knew how to get one thanks to my long list of management courses, but had never applied for one, until now. The beauty of internships is that you learn life skills in all areas, including communication, software/technology, corporate culture, and industry-specifics. But the most challenging part is just landing one, hopefully, the right one.
With so much technology out there, be sure to research possible industries you would like to work in. Below is a link for Intern Match, a new internship offer machine! It goes through potential internship offers from major companies like Yahoo, Intuit, and Facbook to help you find the ‘right match’.
Here are my tips that helped me along the way to landing my internship:
Tip #1: Google Top 10 Companies to Work For (in your city or area)
Tip#2: Prepare a list of GREAT questions to ask the employer throughout the interview. Take charge! Try to interview them! This shows you are capable of leading discussions, ambitious, and well, an interesting phenomena of an individual.
Tip #3: Show your sense of ‘professional’ humour. Share stories that showcase your personality, values, childhood memories, and funny instances that help break the ice.
Tip#4: Listen to your ‘gut instinct’. Follow your passions. Try new things (even taking an internship with job duties involving CRM software you’ve never touched, trust me, you will learn it!)
Tip #5: Be prepared to partake with being able to ‘celebrate’ everything from large events to the small & silly, have fun at work, contribute to cubicle discussions, and best of all, absorb all that knowledge!
Seven Interviews Later…I got the job! Supply Chain Management Intern for Arvato Bertelsmann!
My cubicle is much more decorated now (and equipped with a computer), but this is the original photo I snapped off with much enthusiasm on my first day.
Four months later, here I am. I am now ecstatic and so grateful to have pursued this opportunity (perhaps with a little bit too much ambition…). Nonetheless, I encourage women of all ages to take risks, learn from other women on the job, gain valuable insight, and most of all, be courageous. It is important for women to realize how extreme their value is in the workplace next to men, as we are equally powerful creatures, and that should never be questioned. Finding work-life balance plus everything else is very challenging but is entirely possible! Men, you too need to pursue a work-life balance, but for now focus on finding on step one, an internship in your field.
As Sheryl Sandberg (author of Lean In) said,
“I wish I could just go tell all the young women I work with, all these fabulous women, ‘Believe in yourself and negotiate for yourself. Own your own success.’ I wish I could tell that to my daughter. But it’s not that simple.”
Do you plan on pursuing an internship? Do you already have one? What tips or advice would you offer to those thinking about finding one? Please leave any feedback below in a comment.
Happy Internship Searching~
- The End of the Unpaid Internship (consciouslifenews.com)
- 7 Tips for Unpaid Interns (aauw.org)
- Blog 1: Internship Expectations (zoe93thomson.wordpress.com)
- Top 5 Reasons Internship, Volunteer Experience is Important in Your Job Search (rasmussen.edu)
- Research Internship VS Industrail Internship (researchintern.wordpress.com)
- How to make the most of your summer internship (pinkandblack-magazine.com)
- Internships: Getting From the Classroom to Corporate America (rasmussen.edu)