How to Navigate the Internship Process

Remember when that one friend set you up on a blind date? You were kind of nervous, scared you were going to say something you shouldn’t have? You wanted that person to like you, but at the same time you wanted to make sure you were being yourself? Well, the internship process is very similar, just in a professional context. 

The internship process is all about finding that perfect match. You want to look for companies that you share similar values with, that have a work environment you would feel happy in, and that has a role you are passionate about. If you are someone who loves having your own space to focus, prefers individual tasks, and being in a fast-paced environment gives you energy, being in a collaborative company that doesn’t even have assigned seating might not be for you. There is a perfect company match for you out there, you just need to know where to find it. 

“There are plenty of fish in the sea” is a saying that can be applied to companies as well.  The amount of companies out there can be overwhelming, but don’t worry, there are a variety of resources available to you that can give you the support you need in order to succeed. 

Open up that browser and start using your research skills. First, go to Nittany Lion Careers to see what is locally available. Check out available positions, career fairs, information sessions, and sponsored events that might be happening soon. Attending these Penn State events are a great way to not only know more about specific companies, but also to start building up your network. Recruiters are a great representation of the company they work for, if you feel like you had a great conversation and you are interested in what they have to offer, don’t forget to ask for their contact information and stay in touch.

Still haven’t found the one for you? You can always look online on a company’s specific website and see what opportunities they have available. There are also great websites such as glassdoor.com and indeed.com that contain a variety of different opportunities you could browse through. Just remember, when applying online, there are students all over the country applying as well. In addition to your resume, consider creating a cover letter or have a recommendation letter that could potentially highlight you from other contestants when you can’t have that face-to-face interaction with a recruiter.

Finally, be open, sometimes the company you click with the most is one that you weren’t even considering. There are many opportunities for you out there. Be yourself, be professional, be prepared and you’ll find what you are looking for.

 

By Ligia Guerrero
Ligia Guerrero Ligia Guerrero