It’s never too early to start thinking about your summer internship. While most students complete an internship during their junior or senior years in college, in the architecture and engineering (A/E) industry you can apply, and intern, as early as your freshman year in college.
An internship can help you build critical, real-life experiences. They can also help shape your career interests and increase your chances for a full-time position after graduation. You might be asking, “What does it take to get an internship, and how can I best prepare to get one of these coveted positions?” We have identified six tips to help you land the perfect internship.
Employers often receive dozens, and in some cases hundreds, of applications for their internship positions. Often, they have two minutes or less to review your submission. It’s important you make your resume stand out from the pack. The challenge is that most students don’t have a lot of workplace experience to draw from. With that in mind, you will want to:
Once you have this critical information outlined on your resume, make sure to minimize distractors:
This is key to gain an understanding about the companies you are applying to. Make sure you have learned basic yet important information about the organization, such as:
Don’t just rely on the company website; explore and connect with other company platforms like, Instagram, LinkedIn and Facebook. You can glean a wealth of information about company culture, mission and its people through their social media accounts – so don’t hesitate to check them out!
Review internship job descriptions carefully. Ask yourself, “Does the position align with what I’m interested in?” Be able to speak about how your career objective aligns to the company and/or position you are applying for.
The industry. Learn as much as you can about the A/E industries. The companies within these industries often vary depending on their focus. Review them and come prepared with questions you may have. Don’t be shy about asking questions, it shows you are curious and interested in having a good experience.
Your resume is ready and homework is completed. It’s time to apply and hope you move forward to the interview stage.
When you receive a request for an interview, it’s important to prepare and prepare the right way. Here are six preparation tips to consider:
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The more you practice for an interview, the better your interview skills will be and the better prepared you will be. Rehearsing is one of the best ways to prepare for a job interview.
When that exciting day arrives for your interview, make sure to consider the following:
Be professional. It’s important to dress professionally for an interview. It’s better to overdress than underdress, so don’t worry if you seem more professional than the other candidates or the interview panel.
Arrive on-time. Arrive at least 10-15 minutes early. If you feel you are early, consider waiting in your car or a nearby café; being too early can place unnecessary pressure on your interviewer.
Bring materials. While you don’t need much you may want to bring the following:
While it may seem “old school,” hiring managers still appreciate an acknowledgment of the time they took out of their day to meet with you. An emailed thank-you note is the perfect way to thank everyone for their time and to communicate your interest. Ask for business cards from the interviewers to get their appropriate spelling of name, title and email address.
Related Content: What My Internship Taught Me
Getting an internship doesn’t have to be an overly stressful experience. These six tips can help you not only obtain the position you want, but also achieve the experience needed to help kick-start the career you seek.
Michelle Johnston, PhD is an industrial and organizational psychologist who specializes in talent selection and development and is the recruitment manager for SEH. Contact Michelle