Some say I’m dedicated, others say I’m obsessive. Regardless of what you label me, the fact of the matter is I spend hours and hours researching. Whether it be how to plan a vacation, how to fix a computer or how to find an internship. While I learned a lot of great advice from all the articles I read on internships, the greatest golden nugget of information I found was this: “Stop searching for an 'internship.'”
You probably think I’m crazy right now. “Dana, we’re looking for an internship. How do you expect me to find an internship without looking for internships??” The problem with searching the word internship is that, if you can find it online, so can hundreds of other college students too—students that are probably more experienced and more well-rounded than you. That's not to say it'll never work out. I know many people who have looked up internships and found success. I also know many people who heard about internships from their schools or internship-search sites online. However, I just think we need to be a little more creative with our searching if we want to find the success we desire.
Instead of looking for internships, I started looking for companies. I knew I wanted to be home for the summer in New York, so I researched every marketing firm an hour radius from my house maximum. I wrote down the name of every marketing firm and their contact information. Then, I went through and found the firms that intrigued me and that I thought could really teach me something about the craft I was so desperately trying to learn. Throughout the whole process, I never once checked if they hired interns. I probably sent at least 25 customized emails to each marketing firm, telling them a little bit about myself and why I wanted to work for them. I made sure I really meant what I was saying and tried to be as genuine as possible.
It turns out that the place I will be working for this summer does hire interns. However, you wouldn’t know that if you searched on the Internet for a thousand years. There are many more opportunities than what's apparent to the eyes. You simply have to work a little harder to find them. Or, better yet, create them yourself!