For a college student, securing a great internship can be a game changer. It can be the difference between getting a job after graduation, or being unemployed.
As founder of The Hired Group, Ryan Kahn has helped more than 2,000 college students secure internships with top companies including Google, MTV, Apple, Sony Entertainment, Morgan Stanley, the Cleveland Indians and more.
A nationally recognized career coach, TV personality and author, Ryan knows first-hand how students can stand out in their internship search and land the job of their dreams. He joined us to share some tips and advice.
- When should students begin their search for a summer internships?
The majority of students start looking for summer internships in March. But here’s the deal; the coveted internships will get snatched up early, so you don’t want to be searching in March while everyone is scrambling to get what’s leftover. I’d recommend starting today. In most cases you’ll have to wait for the employer’s hiring timeline (which varies significantly from one company to the next), but by planning ahead you’ll have all options in front of you.
- What can students do to stand out when applying to internships?
It’s simple; tell an interesting story. There are a lot of students out there from top tier Universities with a strong GPA in a major similar to yours, making the competition fierce. So think about what makes you, you and unique beyond all the other applicants. Maybe you’ve studied abroad, volunteered for a great cause, interned at a cool company, been active with a club or group on campus, etc. Think about what your story is and that will help separate you from everyone else.
- What do most students get wrong when applying for internships?
Have you ever noticed a lot of your friends and fellow students apply to internships for the summer? Well, that makes sense right, most students have a break for the summer. But during the summer coveted companies get overloaded with applications. Here’s the trick; think about what happens when it’s not summer? Fall, Winter, and Spring have far less applications and will make for far less competition for you to land a coveted internship then. A strategy I’d suggest is taking classes during the summer and land your dream internship in the Fall, Winter, or Spring.
See all of Ryan’s tips on landing your dream internship and more on campus.about.me.
Antonio Neves is the Director of Higher Education for about.me. He is a graduate of Western Michigan University and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. You can find him on Twitter at @TheAntonioNeves.