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Still need a summer internship? Boston-area students and professionals offer their advice

Posted by Alex Pearlman  April 10, 2012 08:51 AM

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getting a summer internship.jpgBy Melissa Reohr

Spring semester is winding down, which means it’s time to solidify your summer internship plans. Your friends might have had their positions lined up for weeks (months?) already, but don’t fret: It’s still possible to find an internship that’s right for you so that you can get the experience you want and need for your future career.

If you’re struggling in your search, consider this advice from local students and professionals to help you land a last-minute internship.

Katie Shill, Bentley University senior majoring in marketing and president of Bentley CAB:

  • Take advantage of your network. “I’ve landed every single internship through someone I know," Shill said. "I’m a huge proponent of networking and meeting as many people in your industry that you possibly can, both at networking events as well as through other people in your web of contacts.”
  • Leverage social media. “I’ve also turned to Twitter for finding internships last-minute if it comes down to the wire," Shill said. "I’m interested in working and living in New York City, so I follow handles like @nyadjobs@nyprjobs, [and] @nyinternships, along with professionals and contacts that I've meet through other people [and] events."
  • Use your school's Career Services Center. “You would be surprised how many people don't take advantage of this. While you're in college, you have an amazing network of people and companies at your fingertips!" Shill said. "Take advantage of your Career Center while you can; you might be surprised how much they can help.”
Andi Barton, buzz builder manager at Likeable Media:
  • Show your dedication to your internship search. “If you are stuck and applying late in the game, it’s important that you’re proving to these companies that you’re still passionate about working with them, not merely scrambling to find something at the last second," Barton said. "Find what is most relevant for you -- having patience is key late in the game!”
  • Concentrate on your application. “Despite feeling pressured to get applications in quickly, still make sure you are thorough in your application," Barton said. "Make sure that you’re still doing your research and applying with a purpose.”
  • Keep your resume and cover letter strong. “Whether your cover letter is sent the day of the deadline or two months prior, it should still have the same level of priority," Barton said. "Do not merely mass submit your resume in order to land something.”
Alyssa Hammond, associate director of Bentley’s Undergraduate Career Services and IDCC adjunct professor:
  • Stay on top of Twitter postings. “Internship posts are flying fast and furiously on Twitter right now," Hammond said. "Everyone should have a TweetDeck loaded onto their laptops and create searches with key terms that reflect the type of internships they are interested in...so they will populate your queue automatically.”
  • Reach out directly to employers. “Pick up the phone! Call HR and relevant departments of companies of interest and ask them if they are hiring interns for the summer," Hammond said. "You’ll get an immediate answer, as well as find out how to apply straight from the source.”
  • Call on your connections. “If you have contacts that you have developed strong relationships with over time, it’s okay to ask them if they know of anyone who may be looking for an intern and/or if they need any help this summer," Hammond said. "Do not, however, ask new contacts or people you are meeting for the first time -- this ask should strictly be made to contacts who you have gotten to know and who have gotten to know you.”
Just because you’re still looking late in the game doesn’t mean that you don’t deserve a great internship, so assert yourself and show employers everything you have to offer. If you haven’t yet found an internship that fits you well, take your time, and pinpoint exactly what type of skills you want to master this summer.

What advice do you have for those still looking for summer internships?

Photo by NJLA: New Jersey Library Association (Flickr)

About Melissa -- I am a senior at Bentley University and will be graduating in May. After graduation, I plan to live in Boston because I love it here. I am obsessed with social media and blogging and can't wait to further my skills and knowledge of both.

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