Landing an Internship and What I’ve Learned
Landing an internship isn’t always easy. It can be a lengthy and exhausting process and sometimes it’s easy to give up hope. We’ve all been there. Over the summer of 2022, I spent countless hours searching and applying for internships but it felt like I continued to hit every dead end. From not hearing back from places, to not having the same schedule availability or other requirements the job was asking for, and the overall competitiveness of the field, nothing seemed to be going my way. As you can imagine, I began to feel defeated. But once I took a step back and remembered all of the different resources available to me, I landed an internship with UpSpring PR.
Two resources that really helped me land this internship were the Hofstra Career Center as well as my professors. The first step I took was meeting with the Career Center to enhance my resume. Although I constantly keep up with updating my resume, it is always a good idea to have a second set of eyes on it. The Career Center helped me change up some of the wording and expand on different sections to truly show everything I have accomplished. Changing up the wording ever so slightly on your resume can make a huge difference. It was very easy to set up an appointment and get the help I needed. So, if you’re feeling stuck in a job or internship search, reach out to the Career Center to see all of the benefits they have to offer.
The next thing I did was talk with my professors. They all gave great advice on ways to stand out, different places to apply and more. Your professors most likely have great connections to the professional world and know someone who is in need of an intern. Sometimes companies don’t even post a job listing on Handshake or LinkedIn so it helps to make connections. My professor, Cassandra Olivos recommended me to UpSpring PR which helped me get the internship that I have been at since September 2022. I had no clue UpSpring was in search of an intern and had not seen anything online about it. This is why creating connections with your professors and asking them for internship advice can be super beneficial.
The past seven months of my internship at UpSpring has taught me more than I could have imagined: from new platforms, strengthening my writing, how to tackle different issues that arise, and more. I used my internship to fulfill the three credit requirements for my major. This process is simple, once I asked my professor to advise me on my internship I filled out a few forms which I sent to my supervisor at UpSpring. Because I was fulfilling three credits which is equivalent to 180 hours, I worked my internship 20 hours a week on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. The only other requirements to fulfill the internship credits and receive the pass/fail grade are weekly journals for your advisor to update them on everything you have been working on or if there are any problems, and then a final recap which can either be a presentation or an essay.
When it comes to deciding what internship schedule works best for you, I suggest looking at your semesters ahead, planning out the courses you need to take and then also look into your extracurriculars. I decided to take it in the fall semester because for me the fall is not as busy for me. Then, I looked at the classes I needed to take and piled them all on two days. Since I was taking my internship for three credits, I took four classes at 12 credits so I would have a total of 15 credits. However, you can take an internship for one or two credits, it all depends on the place you are interning, how much time you can commit a week to the internship and what works best with your schedule.
Another thing to consider is if you’re looking for a virtual, hybrid or in-person internship. For me, the virtual internship with UpSpring was ideal. Because I am very involved on campus, the thought of commuting in and out of the city two to three times a week was stressful. I knew that commuting would demand more of my time and could also cost money for travel expenses if there was no compensation or reimbursement. These were two things I took heavily into consideration when searching for an internship. However, if working remotely will cause you to lose focus and disconnected, then considering a different option would be more beneficial. It all depends on how you work best, but either way you will gain great professional experience.
After I completed my internship in the fall with UpSpring they asked me to continue interning with them in January and throughout the spring semester. Plus, they have recently offered me a fulltime job post grad! Overall, I am grateful for the resources I have available to me at Hofstra and the support of my professors which helped me get to this point!