Awil Jama, a first-year graduate student in the Higher Education Student Affairs (HESA) program at EMU recently secured a summer internship at Arizona State University where he will be working as a guest and conference service intern in the housing department. When asked about securing his summer internship and what tips he had to offer students, here is what he had to say:
Use internship databases such as looksharp.com and linkedIn.com The benefits of using a database make it easier to maneuver through your search. Sites such as these do most of the work for you when narrowing down the type of internship you are looking for.
Reach out to the businesses or departments you are interested in and be professional in your communication. This will let them know ahead of time you are interested and they will have you on their radar before you decide to send in an application.
Have an up to date resume and cover letter with a minimum of 3 references. Proofread and have someone look over these documents to get the best feedback possible with time to revise if needed. Contact references ahead of time so they are aware you are using them as a reference and the specific position you are applying to. This will ensure if and when they are contacted, they’re not surprised but instead are already well informed and prepared to sing their praises of you!
Be patient – once you inquire, be patient! The time it takes to hear anything back will vary from job to job, but if you haven’t heard anything after 2 weeks it’s okay to send a follow-up email or inquiry but always remember it will take time because you are not the only one applying and hiring departments are just as busy as you!
Once you secure an interview, research the job again and be able to effectively communicate who you are and what you will bring to the table. Research as much as you can and be prepared to answer a variety of questions about conflict management, leadership style, supervision style, and your personal expertise (just to name a few) Practice in the mirror or with a friend and believe in yourself because you wouldn’t have made it this far if something about you didn’t stand out!