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Internships: How to get one

“In 2006, 84 percent of college graduates said they had completed at least one internship, paid or unpaid; 53 percent said they had completed two or more internships; and only 1 percent said internships are not important,” according to survey statistics quoted in the Christian Science Monitor.

Whether you need one for your major or not, internships are a great way to “add beef” to the resume. With that said, here are some tips on how to land your desired internship.

1. Start early. According to the Florida Times-Union, Thomas Serwatka, vice president and chief of staff at the University of North Florida, recommends looking four or five months before your desired start date.

Different majors have different requirements, so the earlier you start the better. For many majors, four or five months before will be too late. Consult your adviser.

2. Use your network. If someone at the company you would like to intern for knows you, use that person in your favor. Companies will be more likely to give you the opportunity to intern if one of their own can attest to your skills.

3. Use suggestions from people at Eastern. See if your adviser has some connections that they could recommend to you.

4. Step outside your comfort zone to get a new experience.

For example, if the internship forces you to use public transportation and you are uncomfortable with doing that, put on your tough face and do it anyway.

5. Be persistent but not overwhelming. If you have sent in an application, wait at least a month before contacting them about it. If they still have not reviewed your application, wait at least another week before calling again. That way, the company will know you want the internship, but you will not be obnoxious.

6. Nothing is out of your reach. The higher the credibility of an internship, the better your job outlooks will be after graduation. Shoot for the stars if that is what your heart desires.

7. Be fearless and honest. If you really want the internship, your desire will shine through naturally.

8. At the interview, arrive early. First impressions are important.

9. At the interview, dress professionally. It is better to be overdressed at an interview than to be underdressed.

For ladies, usually nice dress pants, a button down shirt and heels are good.

For gentlemen, nice dress slacks and a button down shirt, nicely tucked in, and ties are recommended. No clip-on ties.

10. At the interview, come prepared. Resumes, samples of your work and references may be expected by the company.

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