Surefire Ways to Land Your Dream Internship

The dreaded words of “undergraduates only” always seem to snatch dream internship away from our grasp, or many of us also always seem to fall into the black hole of, “Sorry, you’ve missed our deadline, but please try us again next year!”

Even more frustrating is landing an awesome internship only to spend the summer shredding papers and sealing envelopes, but this article will offer foolproof ways to prevent this from happening to you.

As a high school student, applying for internships can be can be an irritating task, especially when you don’t meet specified age requirements. Do not lose hope! Sending an email to a hiring manager in which you explain your interests and qualifications just might do the trick; he or she will be impressed by your initiative, knowledge and experience (being a DECA member already puts you at an advantage) and may offer you a position.

If this email is well written and highlights why you believe you are a qualified and capable candidate, and you support your claims with evidence from your past work experience, leadership roles, and competitive events history, I am sure you will be satisfied with the results.

Another method to successfully land an internship is to shadow an employee of the company or firm you aspire to work for. Shadowing a member of the workforce is an easier task to accomplish, as this would typically be a single day activity. Your ultimate goal throughout the day should be to build a relationship with the individual you are shadowing, so ask questions, express interest and show your knowledge!

Later, send an email to the employee you shadowed thanking he or she for the opportunity, and then express your interest in pursuing an internship at the office. Perhaps you can intern exclusively in the division of the individual you shadowed, or maybe this individual can speak on behalf of your maturity and knowledge when you apply, regardless of age requirements placed on applicants.

Congratulations! After following this method, you’ve landed your dream internship! Now, to avoid your summer fetching coffee, you have to show your intern coordinator that you have the initiative and capacity to spearhead new programs and projects in the office.

Use your skill sets to your advantage and propose a new program, project or campaign to better the office, and then plan out its implementation. This doesn’t have to be a ground-breaking initiative (although it can be), but as long as it’s something that you launched, your internship experience will be more memorable and satisfying.

Having said all of this, there is no substitute for time, so begin to research potential internships four to five months before you would like to begin. This will give you adequate time to send multiple applications and even shadow a potential employer.

Remember, as DECA members, we have the talent and experience to tackle any internship and make a significant impact, and by doing so, we are taking significant steps in building our futures.

Best of luck in all your endeavors!

ryan_adellThis article was written by Kings Park DECA President, Ryan Adell. You can follow King Park DECA on Twitter @kp_decabusiness.