Finding an internship as a freshman or sophomore may seem impossible. I promise, it's not. All you have to do is make one recruiter believe in you.
I had a really cool internship with a Public Accounting firm this past summer. In the coming weeks, we will talk about how you can get a really cool internship too!
Know what you want. Obviously as a freshman or sophomore in college, nobody expects you to know exactly how your career path will look. However, you must have a sense of direction. You should have a basic understanding of the types of projects you want to take on during the summer, or what you want to learn.
Set yourself apart. Since you will not have as many technical skills as those later in their degree programs, you must set yourself apart from other candidates. Join an organization that aligns with your passions and goals, take on a leadership role, or consider studying abroad.
Do your research. Be sure the companies are potentially good fits. Many companies do the same things, but the cultures set them apart from one another.
Dress appropriately. This may sound simple, but finding the line between casual, business casual, and professional attire can sometimes be difficult. Knowing when to wear what goes a long way for your professional image.
Always overdress rather than under-dress.
Know when the recruiters find their campus hires. In the business world, many companies recruit 8-12 months in advance. I'm unfamiliar with other industries, but in my opinion, it's never too early to start. If a recruiter isn't actively filling positions at the time, establish a relationship so that in the future, you will more than likely be asked to interview.
Network. You never know where networking will lead you. Now this doesn't mean going to every networking event at your school. It means making meaningful connections last.
Make yourself happy. This is going to sound crazy, but, this may be the single most important thing. I've been asked what I do in my spare time countless times in interviews. People who do things outside of school and work are happier and thus more satisfied with their jobs.
Have you ever had an internship before? What sealed your deal?
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