It comes a time in a person’s higher education journey that they may need or eventually need an internship or even need to apply for that first job out of college
, and that came for me the beginning of this summer.
When deciding who we want to send our resumes to we can often start immediately thinking about the businesses your school is connected with or big name companies and well known businesses, not thinking that their might be opportunity elsewhere. I know I did, and with every resume I sent, i was answered with that good ol’ “sorry you wouldn’t be a good fit for our company at this time” or “the positions have been filled” or something of that nature just something notifying me I had been rejected, again.
I also believed the dreams colleges sell, “Get a degree in this and you can work for this big company,” or “you can get the best experience with the best people here,” but that truth is, while those statements can sometimes be true, getting in with those big name companies when you have little to no experience, still learning in the field, and have a tight schedule, whether it be another job, school whatever, you really have no chance. But the thing is, YOU DO. Remember every BIG business was once a small business! (Think apple! For other businesses with humble beginnings, check 6 Companies that Started in a Garage).
So I wasn’t discouraged, I continued on with the hope that someone would need this eager to learn communications student’s help. (I also checked out sites like this for tips: how to get the internship.
Soon, I was connected with an employee at an up and coming radio station, NC Praise 100.1 FM, I went in for an interview, was truthful about my experience but let him know that I was ready to learn and grow with the company, and I was hired.
I know a few others who have landed their internships with a small business or up coming business in much of the same way.
So if it proved to be that easy why didn’t I look into local start up businesses in the first place? Why doesn’t anybody? Is their a way to even do this?
And It turns out there are: NETWORK, NETWORK, NETWORK! There’s no reason for anyone that wants to enter a field, to not already know people active in the field already. You should be talking to classmates, and going to events, conferences, banquets, just any and every place people in your field get together!
Talking to business owners and building relationships to earn an internship is always the best thing, but if you want to do it the #lazyway there are sites like StartupHire.com, Startup Jobs, and even Forbes is in on it.
There is so much to be gained by working for a smaller/new company, especially when you’re first making your entrance into the workforce:
You won’t be bored.
There is a lot to be done. At a startup that’s just beginning or still building to it’s full potential, time is so important, and every employee is a very important part of the team, and luckily for you this includes interns! This means that you’ll be working on projects that are used by the business and seen by it’s consumers, and they will probably have you doing that your very first day (at least that how it was when I started.)
Writing copy for a commercial, working on the companies website, or any other daily things the company you work for does everyday, you will probably experience on the first day that you start work. You can be nervous and intimidated but working facing your fears and learning to take responsibility as an intern is great way to prepare you for these jobs in the future, even if you do mess up.
You’ll also gain more and more confidence in your field knowing you can successfully complete things that come your way.
Later on, Instead of writing about how you would complete a task to your next potential employer, you will be able to tell them about your real experience, and how well you did it.
You’ll get a lot of exposure.
The best thing about small businesses is that they might end up becoming big companies, and if you work somewhere with fewer than 30 employees, you’ll have a chance to get to know everyone.
And these people can turn into great friends and great business contacts.
You have ample opportunity to get to know the heads of the business and other employees very well. The folks that are still there eight years later are running an enormous, successful business, and many of the people who have left have gone on to do other things in your field.. or maybe something you didn’t even know was possible for you to get involved in.
In addition, let your more experienced coworkers become your mentors. You are a team and everyone is working for the good of the company, don’t be afraid to ask for help!
Even if the business you intern at doesn’t become a huge success, you’ll have companies and contacts to call when it’s time to look for your next internship or job.
My biggest problem I think when it came to trying to get an internship is that none of them fit into my schedule! With more established companies, they often have a lot of rules and processes in place that can sometimes be unnecessary or unfavorable.
Working for a startup, you’ll realize how ‘go with the flow’ they tend to be with these kinds of procedures. The goal is to simply, do the best work.
One example is the hiring process, as I stated before. You can contact a start up and more often than not they have a place for you.
You can email a startup, tell them what you can offer them or experience you have, and they simply fit you in rather than your position being set in stone.
They also, I would say, NEED what you have to contribute so more often than not they’ll work around your schedule.
Hopefully this was of some help to aspiring interns and employees, and that we all “get our foot in the door.”
for any questions about anything specific feel free to contact me!