You may be wondering how to ask for an internship. For many college students, this is a nerve-wracking and embarrassing task; you don’t know if the company even offers an internship, or what they may think of you for asking. Don’t worry – by asking for internships that aren’t even advertised, you’re putting yourself way out ahead of the pack! When a company advertises for interns, you often have stiff competition to go up against. By asking those who do not advertise it, you will likely find an available internship much sooner. Below you will find helpful advice concerning how to ask for an internship.
1. Research companies in your career field that interest you.
You can look online to find hundreds of companies and organizations in your chosen career field. Today, most businesses have an online presence (website) so you can do a little research right from your home. Look for internship information, a contact name, human resources information or an email address.
2. Even if there is no internship information listed, it doesn’t hurt to try.
When you come across a company online, in the phone book or in person, it is perfectly fine to inquire about an internship. If you visit the company in person, ask the secretary or receptionist to speak to the human resources department and tell them what you are looking for. Call those businesses in the phone book, and even send a letter to the hiring manager regarding internships. Many companies prefer an email, so you might consider going this route.
3. Send a follow up letter.
If a company does give you the impression that they would consider an internship, follow up with a letter. Send the letter to the person you talked to, and be sure to highlight your skills and qualifications. You might then wait a week, then give the person a phone call to follow up on your letter. Persistence is key in getting an internship!
4. Remember that even if there is no internship presently, they may create one for you.
Many companies would love to have an intern to carry part of the workload, especially since they offer no or very little pay. Even if a company you contact does not have an internship program, they may create one – especially if they believe your skills and talents would benefit the company.
5. Dress professionally. When you visit a business to inquire about an internship, dress the part. Present yourself in a professional manner, wear nice clothes that aren’t too casual, and don’t overdo cosmetics, colognes, hairstyle, etc. Put your best foot forward!
6. Keep in mind that persistence is key.
Don’t worry what people will think about you for asking about an internship; when you provide them with your skills and qualifications and keep following up, they know that you are a person who is career-oriented and dedicated to getting as much experience as you can under your belt. Call, write a letter, and call again – they will know that you mean serious business.
You should never be shy or embarrassed about looking for work that will help you train for your chosen career. Whether a business offers an internship or not is something you won’t know until you ask! Hopefully the guidelines above help you understand how to ask for an internship.
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