By Bre Moore
Hi there! If you’re reading this post chances are you are starting the process of applying for an internship, or you’re my mom and dad. Internship searching can be a long, emotional process, but it is a requirement if you are an IPR student at CMU. I have spent the past three months interning at an agency in New York City and have learned many valuable life lessons since the beginning of my internship process. For all of you undergrads that are beginning your process, especially those who are looking out of state, please read and consider carefully. For mom and dad, here are some things I have learned—It was worth every penny! Without further ado, here is my “Six Things to Consider When Applying For An Out Of State Internship” list:
1. Apply Where You “Think” You Want to Live Post Graduation
If you think you want to move out of the state post graduation, I highly advise you to apply for an internship in a city you’re considering living in. An internship can teach you valuable lessons, but living in your “ideal” city can teach you even more. You’ll learn about the culture, pace, expenses, how people interact and what upcoming competition you may have in that location. You may love the place you want to live and be eager to move back, or you may consider applying somewhere different after graduation.
2. If You Don’t See An Application, Shoot An Email
Not every internship you want is going to have an application. If you have your heart set on one, and they don’t have any applications open, email them! This shows them that you’re passionate about the position, and you may just get that much closer to an interview. I can say this based on first hand experience!
3. Set Up An Informational Interview
Informational interviews are a great way to get more insight on a company. If you are applying out of state at a company you haven’t heard of before, having a short phone call or Skype conversation can really give you an idea of if it is what you are looking for. Most businesses are willing to set aside a half-hour to talk about themselves. In addition, you are getting your name out there and can begin to sell yourself before you actually apply!
4. Have Accessible Versions of Your Portfolio Pieces
Due to the fact that your interview is probably not going to be in person, have easily accessible versions of your portfolio pieces ready to send over via email. Before or during a phone interview, they may ask you to email them a writing sample once you hang up the phone. It is also convenient to have an online portfolio with your resume and pieces on there! That way your potential employer can look at your work during the interview.
5. Dress Up for Phone Interviews
Dressing up has been proven to make you seem more prepared for an interview rather than sitting in bed in your PJ’s. You will be more awake, quicker to answer and it will overall boost your self esteem resulting in a better interview. Even though the employer won’t be able to see you, your subconscious will kick in and make you interview better.
6. Go outside your comfort zone.
Taking a risk and going your comfort zone may be the best thing to ever happen to you. Take a vacation to apply to places in person, move hundreds of miles away or start completely over somewhere new. Just do something you typically would be hesitant to do. Employers like people who are willing to go above and beyond. Even if you are the shyest person in the world, push yourself to stand out in a pile of resumes. The worst they can do is say no!