OPINION: 6 things you can do to land that summer internship

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By Jennifer Mellor

May 24, 2024

Looking for work this summer? So are thousands of other students. Here are some tips you can use to give yourself a leg up on the competition.

 

Students across Arizona are counting down the minutes to summer break, which means competition is heating up for summer jobs and internships.

Research points to the many benefits of internships for students, including a 32% boost in their chances of staying with the company after their internship ends. tWith the current economic climate expected to create even more competition, there are steps students can take right now to set themselves apart.

ElevateEdAZ, an initiative of the Greater Phoenix Chamber Foundation, prepares students for college and careers with services like internship connections, resume workshops, interview preparation, and career fairs.

Here are six tips for finding and securing the best summer opportunity:

  1. Research: Look for companies or organizations that align with your interests, career goals, and field of study. Use online resources, career fairs, and networking events to identify potential internship opportunities. Reach out to your teachers, coaches, alumni, family members, and professional contacts who may be able to provide advice, referrals, or information about internship openings.
  2. Utilize Career Services: Take advantage of your high school counselor or college and career coaches’ time and knowledge. They can help you with resume writing, interview preparation, and connecting with employers. Be sure to tailor your resume and cover letter to each internship application, highlighting relevant skills, experiences, and achievements demonstrating your suitability for the position.
  3. Build a Strong Online Presence: Ensure your LinkedIn profile is up-to-date and professional. Engage with industry professionals and join relevant groups to expand your network.
  4. Connect Relevant Experience: Gain experience through part-time jobs, volunteer work, or extracurricular activities and relate skills learned to your desired field. This can make you a more attractive candidate for potential employers.
  5. Prepare for Interviews: Practice common interview questions and research the company thoroughly. Be ready to discuss your skills, experiences, and why you’re interested in the internship opportunity. Don’t forget to include what you learned about the company in your responses.
  6. Be Persistent and Flexible: Don’t get discouraged by rejections or setbacks. Keep applying to multiple opportunities and remain open to different types of internships or industries. If you receive rejections, don’t hesitate to ask for feedback on your application or interview performance. Constructive criticism can help you improve for future opportunities.

Launched in 2020, ElevateEdAZ, an initiative of the Greater Phoenix Chamber Foundation, prepares individuals for college and career through stronger alignment between education, business, and the community.

ElevateEdAZ is focused on increasing the number of students completing high-quality education to workforce learning pathways that align with the needs of industries and supports students in completing industry-recognized credentials, attaining early post-secondary credit, and participating in capstone work-based learning experiences, such as internships and job shadows.

For more information, visit https://elevateedaz.com.

Related: Opinion: This federally-funded job training program gave me a fresh start

Author

  • Jennifer Mellor

    Jennifer Mellor currently serves as the Chief Innovation Officer for the Greater Phoenix Chamber. In this role, Jennifer oversees the Greater Phoenix Chamber Foundation, which convenes and catalyzes business, education, and community to enhance college and career readiness, develop a stronger workforce, and build healthier communities throughout Arizona.

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