Sunday, February 22, 2015

Internship PREP

Written by: Jaharra Simmons
Howard University CO 2016

Landing your dream internship may seem a little challenging but with a little guidance it can be a breeze. The following steps can make this process just a tad bit easier.
      Research: There’s nothing worse than spending an entire summer at an internship that you hate, so research is key. Do as much research as possible while applying to internships, this can ensure that you will enjoy your experience more.
      Network: Building relationships with recruiters is a great way to stand out from your peers. Subtle communication such as a few emails per week and attending information sessions shows these recruiters that you are serious about the opportunities they’re offering.

·        Resume Critiques: Having your resume critiqued by a professor or even an industry professional can be very helpful. When working on your resume, make sure you are tailoring it to the industry you are interested in entering. This shows the employer that you’re qualified for the position and gets right to the point in detailing your experience or knowledge about the industry and the particular company you are pursuing. 

·         Mock Interviews: It’s best to be prepared so a practice interview can do nothing but help. This can prepare you for the actual interview process and equip you with answers for questions the employer will possibly ask. Look up the company on websites like, and you can find specific questions that the company tends to ask during interviews. Ask a roommate, classmate, professor or counselor who is invested in your success to conduct your mock interview. 

·         First Impressions: Before you go to the interview make sure you do your research on the company’s corporate culture. This will consist of the dress code, core values and overall feel of the company. Make sure when going to the interview you appear as if you already work there, dress to fit the part and appeal to the company’s culture in the best interview attire that you own. Also, research the history of the company so you seem knowledgeable and up-to-date on the current happenings within the company and how they are performing against competitors.

I hope these tips help in landing your dream internship. Also remember, confidence and persistence is key and the employer will notice your efforts!  

Editorial Credit
- Jaharra Simmons Spring 2015 

1 comment:

  1. This is a great article and as an IT Manager, I agree with 100% of it!

    - As Jaharra said, it is very important to research both the company and the position to show that you are well versed in both. It is absolutely essential that you ask questions during an interview to show that you've "done your homework". However, stay away from the "what's in it for me" type of questions.

    - In many industries, recruiters search resumes by looking for special key word matches. Therefore, it's very important that your resume has as many key words, or "buzz words" as possible. Be sure to research some key terms associated with the position that you're applying for and strategically incorporate them into your resume. Make sure your resume reflects the skills required for the position you're applying for as well. It may help to have multiple versions of your resume too.

    - First impressions are big! Remember that you are judged from the moment you walk into the waiting room to be interviewed. Typically, hiring managers decide whether or not they're going to hire you within the first couple of minutes of meeting you, so always strive to make the best impression from the start.

    - The more you practice interviewing, the better you will become and the more comfortable you will become when the real interview occurs. Be sure to practice what you plan on saying, but make sure you practice your body language too. 70% of communication comes from your body language and it speaks louder than what comes out of your mouth. Think about it: someone who is slouched down in their chair avoiding eye contact with the recruiter and appearing disengaged saying "I am the best person for the position" translates to "I'm here for the interview, but I really don't care about the job, I'm not confident in my abilities, and I may not put my best effort forward if you hire me".