Tips and Tricks: Landing the perfect internship
By popular demand - aka the informal poll I had on my Instagram story the other day - I wanted to talk about internships for this post. But before I get into it, I would like to say that I am not at all trying to act like I know what I am doing nor am I pretending to be an expert at all. I simply want to share what I've been doing and how I think it's working for me personally.
Where to begin
Ever since I was 13 years old I've known what I wanted to do. For me this has been really helpful in figuring out what it is that I want to work towards. These ideas are still changing everyday and I think that is due to the internships I've had and the knowledge that comes with those experiences.
If you haven't already figured out what you want to do, I would start by making a list of your interests. If you do know what you want to do, start brainstorming ideas/interests within that field. Either way, it helps me when I physically write down my ideas and goals on paper. Also, I like to think this solidifies them and makes it a real possibility.
Once you know what you like (hopefully that was easy and fun for you) you can start looking for opportunity.
Where to look
In this day and age I think it is almost impossible not to know where to look for jobs. I understand it's hard and can be very frustrating but honestly, we have no excuse for not knowing where to apply. With a world as digital as ours, opportunities are literally just sitting at our fingertips. It's up to you to get creative and make a move.
The last two internships I've had I found via Instagram. More than likely you follow brands/companies/hobbies etc. that you like. If you do that, you're already headed in the right direction you just need to spend some time digging a little deeper. Find your favorite blogger, company or person that does what you want to do and start doing research about them. Check out their website, connect with them on linkedIn OR take it a step further and (WOW get crazy) message them on Instagram (believe it or not they sometimes reply).
Basically just keep your eyes open. A lot of the time you can get used to the things you like and follow or see everyday. Try to have fresh eyes and think about your hobbies in a new light. Look through your closet... what brands are you wearing? What's your favorite beauty item? What's your favorite sports team or beverage? Literally ANYTHING can translate into an internship or job. Start researching things you like and looking into how they do what they do. Chances are they have a team of people working behind the scenes that make up their company.
I absolutely hate to feel like I'm waisting precious time or energy on something that isn't going to pay off later. While I was looking for my current internship I knew I wanted to work for a magazine. I hadn't done that yet and I wanted to get a feel for what it would be like to work for a publication. I started researching Austin Magazines, fashion magazines etc. After finding a few different magazine-like companies I reached out to The Scout Guide Austin about a possible internship. After reaching out to various publications, I heard back from TSG and set up an interview. Even though it wasn't exactly what I had initially started searching for, I stumbled upon it along the way and it happened to be an absolute perfect fit and I couldn't be happier (you can follow TSG on Instagram @tsgaustin).
The question I ask myself when beginning the internship search is, "what do I want to do when I grow up?" For me, I want to do something that combines all of my interests into one - photography, digital media, business and so on. The reality is that it's going to be hard to just start off doing exactly what I want to do straight after graduation. However, in order to know what I like and what I don't like, I try to get as much experience as I can before I enter the real world. That way when it is time to "grow up" I know exactly what I do and don't want to do with my life.
To sum it all up
- Make a list of your interests & likes
- Keep your eyes open & brainstorm places within your interests that could offer internships
- Choose experiences that will help you in the future
- GO FOR IT. If you fail, try again.
It may seem like too simple of advice, or maybe you really didn't like my advice at all (that's okay). By figuring out what you like and then digging a little deeper into that you can find some pretty cool opportunities that maybe you've never considered or thought of before. Regardless, starting with what you like and going from there is a great way to make sure you'll be happy doing whatever it is you end up doing. Hope this helped!
Below is some of my work from my current and past internships. You can also view my work here.