Business Internships

Fri, Mar 19, 2010

Internship Information

The area of business is a wide one. That is both a both a plus and a minus as you search for your business internship. On one hand, there is a lot of competition and because of that you may have to accept an unpaid internship. On the other hand, because of the different fields in business and the thousands of companies who look for interns every year, chances are you will find a business internship that fits you. But, where do you start? And what do you do once you find one that you like? Those questions will be answered in this step-by-step guide.

Step 1: What Industry Do You Want to Work In

Consider which field you want to pursue. Is it marketing? International business? Finance? Once you figure that out, make a list of all the companies in the respective field and determine which companies you would like to work at.

Step 2: Your School Career Center is Your Resource

Make a stop at your career center! So many students forget this vital step in the process. Most university career centers are under-utilized. Remember that your tuition dollars are paying for those resources, so use them. Most career centers have a board or file containing internship opportunities. Also, it might help to talk to an adviser for advice on your particular field or company.

Step 3:  A Business Professor is a Solid Resource

Talk to a business professor. Often, professors are very well connected in the local community or have connections from their previous or current jobs that can help you find an internship. Plus, they are already experts and should be able to tell you exactly what you need to know to find and land an internship.

Step 4: Search, Search, Search

Search. Look on your own to find an internship. The internet, newspapers, magazines, and word of mouth are all good ways to discover available internships or interesting companies.

Step 5: Perfect Your Resume

Produce a stellar, professional resume. You might want to have those same people at your career center help you with this step. They can give you advice about how to tailor your resume to fit the position for which you are applying. It is also important to have a friend, parent, or even a professor read over your resume to look for typos.

Step 6: Pursue the Companies You Want to Work At

Contact the company. Apply for the intern position, or call the company to set up an informational interview. If they seem hesitant to meet with you, offer to work as a volunteer or in unpaid capacity.  (Working unpaid is how many professionals in this tough economy are getting the experience necessary to find better jobs in the future). Once you submit your resume or application, it is okay to contact the company to inform them that you are very interested in working with them and remind them to consider your resume.

Step 7: Follow-Up

Follow through. When you finally reach the much sought after interview stage, be punctual and dress professionally in business clothes.  After the interview, send a thank you note. A few days later call to follow up and ask how the selection process is going. Be professional and persistent.

Remember that every internship is unique and that this is just a basic guide to get you started. Happy searching!

Sara is an expat who lives in Santiago, Chile and is studying for her MBA. Send her an email at sarabeck86@gmail.com.

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