As an almost second semester senior, the real world is fast approaching. Here at Naz, a professional internship is required in order to complete your degree. As a Visual Communication Design major, I’m finding that some of the coolest advertising agencies are located right in Rochester. I interned this past summer at an agency called Butler/Till right in Henrietta and absolutely fell in love with it. As I go into my spring semester looking for another internship, I found that I am benefiting so much from my first internship search. I’ve condensed my learnings down into a few tips:
1. Start early. It’s never too early to start reaching out to people. People are busy, so it’s not always going to be number one on their priority list to email or call you back. Sometimes it takes three or four or even more attempts at contacting someone before you can connect with them.
2. Become an expert on them. It is highly likely that if you are fortunate enough to score an interview, that they will ask you what you know about them. If you can impress them by knowing their top client, or even just a fun office tradition, you’ll stand out among a sea of under-informed students.
3. Find out who you’ll be interviewing with. Being prepared is key. If this means asking whoever called you for this person’s name, or going online and finding out, it will be the one thing that you can count on in the interview. Also, find out how many people you’ll be interviewing with, and bring an appropriate amount of business cards and resumes.
4. Always write a thank you. Surprisingly, people don’t always remember this. As a design major, I have customized thank you notes that I handwrite after every professional interaction. A handwritten thank you goes a long way in our very digital and fast paced world. It will also give them one more piece of you to stack up against other applicants.
5. Stay in touch. Now that I’m going for internship number 2, this is huge. It is likely that if you had a positive experience at an internship, you will turn to your internship head adviser for some sort of resume credit, like a reference. This is obviously great, but asking that person if they could recommend another place similar that they could see you succeeding at is even better.