Starting the search for a summer internship can be extremely daunting, especially if you aren’t sure what exactly you want to do. Last year as a freshman, I began to panic as my friends from home started getting offers for jobs in the fall. I hadn’t even started looking for a job and they already had their plans set. As someone who is interested in fashion, I knew that my “dream” internship would be in the fashion industry.
I began to scroll through jobs on LinkedIn, searching for anything that sounded somewhat interesting. I applied for numerous internships through LinkedIn, but, ultimately, found my job through Tulane Takeover. I attended the event as a nervous freshman with a weak resume. I knew it would be good practice for networking and selling myself, so I forced myself to go. I ended up meeting a Tulane alum who worked for a small e-commerce start-up. It was perfect for me. My future boss, Lillie, told me to reach out to her in the spring to see if they needed interns. So, when March came around, I sent her an email reminding her about how we met and telling her why I was so interested in working for her. She replied quickly and we set up a phone interview. If I hadn’t attended Tulane Takeover or put myself out there by reaching out to Lillie, I’m not sure what I would have done last summer. I love that I got my job through the help of Tulane, and I don’t think enough students utilize the resources here in order to find internships. Now, as a sophomore, I have some advice that I wish I could have given myself last year.
1. Swim in your own lane. Don’t compare your job search to your friends’. Everyone figures things out at their own pace and that is okay! Since I am interested in marketing, PR, and more creative jobs, I know that I won’t get offers until the spring, while my friends interested in finance, for example, will get offers in the early fall. If I compared my job search to theirs, I would go crazy. Don’t forget to be supportive and excited for your hardworking friends!
2. Utilize Tulane’s resources. Before I began applying for jobs, a friend recommended I make an appointment with the career center. They helped me revise and polish my resume and draft a cover letter. It’s extremely important to present yourself in the best way possible when applying for jobs; you are selling yourself to employers! I also highly recommend going to a Tulane Takeover event. It’s a great way to practice networking and see what jobs are out there if you are unsure of your interests, and you never know who you will meet.
3. LinkedIn and Handshake are your new best friends. They are great resources to learn about different job opportunities and connect with individuals in different fields. LinkedIn is like a more interesting Facebook.
4. Do your own research. There are so many websites out there that list internships. If you are interested in fashion, websites like Fashionista.com list hundreds of available jobs. Apply for as many internships as possible, and never avoid applying because you are nervous or feel unqualified.
Try out these four steps, and I promise you will feel less stressed about the internship search process. You never know what can happen next!
COVER PHOTO: Lindsey Drucker