By Cristi McKee | Photo: Annie Spratt
Summer internships for college students are crucial to learning career skills, building networks, and gaining experience in the field one desires to be in after they graduate. High school students, college students, and recent college-graduate mainly comprise the pool of internship applicants here in Tallahassee. The Tally Wire recently got to speak with several college students here in town who scored internships this summer here, and abroad, about their tips for scoring internships. Here’s what they had to say.
Plan ahead — Jolee Keplinger, a senior at Principia College and Tallahassee native, interned at Hungry Planet Foods in St. Louis, Missouri, last summer, and encourages planning ahead when looking for an internship. “ I started looking for my summer internship during my winter break. I’d recommend that, as well as doing thorough research and considering a variety of options,” she says.
Shape your resume — When applying for internships, Simone Rousseau, a former Florida State University student and intern at North, emphasizes the importance of curating your resume with information that is applicable to certain jobs, saying “shape your resume for each job.” This way, if one internship in particular is looking for certain skills that you have that may not apply to other internships, all relevant information is offered up.
Take advantage of interviews on campus — Keplinger also suggests attending career fairs on campus, recalling, ”I was actually set up with an info interview during my college’s career conference program, and I ended up having a great conversation with an employee. I then asked about internship opportunities at the end, we stayed in touch over email, and a couple months later I landed the internship!”
Utilize Handshake — As a college student or recent college graduate, uploading your information, skills, resume, and other helpful information to Handshake can prove to be life-changing when looking for an internship. “It’s a great resource,” Rousseau adds.
Express your gratitude — After interviewing with a potential employer, Abigail Warren, a student at Mercer University and former intern Farm Credit of Northwest Florida, says to “send handwritten thank you notes!” Showing a potential employer that you go the extra mile to express your gratitude to them for speaking with you emphasizes your interest in their business.