Tips on Landing a Great Internship

Burgess, Alicia at National Geographic

By Dean’s Intern Alicia Burgess at National Geographic

I would highly recommend pursuing a Dean’s Internship. If you’re serious about pursuing a career in media, this will really propel you and put your foot in the door of respected organizations.  I never knew how much of a supportive community Dean’s Internships had before I started, but my supervisor at NatGeo is an AU alum and started there as an intern too.

That being said, most internships, and especially Dean’s Internships, don’t just fall in your lap, so if you want some hints, read on!

I feel that the most important thing I did when applying for internships is being diligent.  That means forcing yourself to make time to find internships, and not just apply to them, but really cater your resume and cover letter to fit the positions. Do your research.  It can be tedious and time consuming, but well worth it in the long run.

The same goes for your portfolio! Pay attention to all the details, make sure it’s up to date, and don’t be shy about making sure employers know how to find it.  Even if you’re not sure how top-tier your work is yet, it will help you stand out from other applicants. Finally, being diligent includes re-applying for internships for alternate semesters, even if you didn’t get it the first time.  I had already applied to NatGeo (once or twice) before getting the position.  You really just never know!

Throw a wide net, and you might be able to get a Dean’s Internship retroactively.  I applied directly to NBC, and when I got the internship, I contacted Dean’s Internships and asked if I could be included in the program.  In that experience as well, I applied over winter break and didn’t hear back until April, so be patient.  Just because you don’t hear back right away it necessarily a bad sign.

Make sure your availability is ready to handle the needs of an organization.  If you can, I would recommend making your class schedule so that you can dedicate one or two full days a week to interning.  It’s not the easiest, but you really get a lot more out of the experience, and it makes you a better candidate.

Finally, not getting an internship doesn’t mean you get a semester off to relax!  Use all that extra time to improve your resume, it could be the little push you need to set yourself apart.  Focus on raising your GPA, join some student organizations, or get a part time job so you have experiences to talk about.

That’s all from me! I hope this helps, and good luck!