Internship Preparation

For students in their junior or senior years, the stress and confusion of applying for an internship weighs heavily. Even though not all majors require an internship, the experience can be the tipping point on whether a new graduate is hired. When applying for an internship, it is best to get an early start. If the internship is during the summer, the best time to start looking and gathering information is the summer before. Find out the requirements from Western, such as the number of hours for the internship, what forms need to be filled out and what forms the place of the internship needs. For example, the broadcasting major requires a minimum of 150 hours for 3 credits and 300 hours for 6 credits. Since an internship is considered a class, a student must enroll in CMCR-483 and keep a daily journal of activities and what was learned.Start working on a cover letter and résumé and gather reference letters. Even if an internship does not require a letter of reference, sending one might be the deciding factor for the employer. As soon as the fall semester starts, begin looking online or ask Career Services where to begin looking for an internship. Many of the larger places of internships begin to fill up quickly. Another way is to call the place of the internship, ask the name and number of the person in charge of dealing with internships, and then call back later and ask for that person. This makes it appear that a student is well informed and has done his or her homework about the company.After creating a list of possible places for internships, start sending résumés to as many and as quickly as possible. Some students have already been approved for an internship before the end of the fall semester, and waiting can cost students their number one pick. If required, send the résumé through e-mails; it could also help to send another one through the mail. Send them a copy of the forms required for them to fill out so they do not have to ask for more information.After being approved, get in contact with the person that will be in charge of the internship. Staying in contact shows an interest and getting to know the people there will make it easier on the first day. Keep in contact enough to show interest but not to the point where it seems more like an aggravation. Visiting the place of the internship will also help in getting to know the people and showing the desire to work there.The best plan for finding an internship is to start looking and preparing as early as possible. Keep in touch with the place of internship and research the company history. Have a résumé and cover letter ready before the start of the fall semester. Waiting until the spring semester could be too late and can cause unnecessary stress and confusion. Look into the larger companies for an internship, but also consider the smaller, less known places.