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5 Tips For Landing Your First Internship

By: Lily Kwong

Landing yourself an internship can be a long and arduous process. For those who have not been through the process before may find it a little scary. But fret not because we have compiled five great tips for landing your first internship.

1. Build that Resume

In your first two years of college, you may fear you do not have substantial material to present on your resume. One you get assimilated into the college environment, begin exploring different clubs or organizations offered on campus to get involved in. These engagements are free resources and not only provides you with professional development but also provides you with yet another community at this quite large university.

Don't be afraid to include past experiences even if they aren't applicable to what you are applying for. Skills are transferable and employers love to see that you have experience working well with other people in a professional environment.

2. Network

You're going to hear this one a million and one times throughout your time here at BU. This message will be just as important now as it is when you have your first job post-graduation. Networking can be as simple as talking to your professor about their experiences and people they know, or LinkedIn messaging someone who works a job you are interested in to see if you could borrow 15 minutes of their time to talk about their work. People LOVE talking about themselves. Do not be afraid to ask for their time, as you never know what the relationship can turn into.

Also, do not be afraid to tap into your social networks and leverage different people you know socially. With minimal experience in the industry you are pursuing, it would be highly beneficial to utilize relationships with people who know you and your work ethic to help you land that first internship.

3. Attend Career Fairs

Career fairs are a great place to both network with individuals as well as be face-to-face with future employers or recruiters from companies you may be interested in working for. With networking and communications being shifted primarily to the internet and remote world, demonstrating interest in an in-person setting allows a face to be put to your name and differentiates you from other candidates.

4. Stay Active on LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a great way to present yourself in a casual but professional manner to your peers and future employers. Connect with your classmates, fellow university alumni, and anyone else you are particularly interested in. This way you can observe what people with similar career aspirations are participating in and interested in. I find myself viewing people about three to five years older than myself who are working in a role I would be interested in working at their age. From there I view their academic history like their major or minors as well as their employment history to help me understand the trajectory of their career. With this being said, this portion is only a fraction of the story, which is why it is imperative for you to reach out and connect with them so they can speak about their career themselves.

Additionally, jobs are frequently being posted directly on LinkedIn and oftentimes do not accept applications for long! Staying active will prevent you from missing solid opportunities and connections that could lead you toward landing your first internship.

5. Visit the COM Careers Service Office

All of the career services centers on campus are excellent places to seek advice to propel your professional career, but at COM the resources are endless and are always available to you. They are constantly posting internship opportunities on their website and on posters, and even offer COM-specific internship funds. While we know there are many unpaid opportunities that will propel your career, this might not be feasible for you economically, which is why BU is here to support your endeavors. P.S. Do not shy away from unpaid internships. At this lower stake level, the pay does not legitimize the role by any means, so if it can provide you with the value you are looking for in an internship, I would recommend taking it.

Additionally, the COM Career Service Center also offers appointments for resume, cover letters, and general internship and job search. Hence, if you ever need advice or guidance with looking for an internship or getting your materials ready before applying to your dream internship, do not hesitate to book an appointment with them.


About the Author:

Lily Kwong is a junior from Newport Beach, California studying public relations and minoring in business administration and management. She is currently the account supervisor for Spikewell and Coevo Energy Inc. and last semester, she was an account executive for Inclusive Fitness. On campus, Lily is involved with BUPRSSA and PRAdvanced. She is also a part-time sales and services associate at Alo Yoga in Seaport. Lily hopes to work in investor relations or financial communications one day.

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