No Summer Internship? Here's How to Make the Most of Your Time
After countless applications, interviews and anxious weeks of waiting for the wonderful offer call or email, you still haven't landed a summer internship in your field. Before you stress out and get down on yourself, listen – it happens to the best of us.
Below are three easy ways to make the most of your summer without an internship, which just might land you an amazing internship or job offer!
Do your research and follow along. One great way to get a clearer vision of agencies or companies that you may want to work with is by compiling a detailed list of companies in your area and beyond that seem like a great fit for your skill set. Excel spreadsheets are your friend – start by organizing your target companies by region, and then get to researching! Get to know these companies inside and out, so when you apply in the future, you can tailor your cover letter to best suit their specific client needs.
Another tip? Follow all of the companies that you research on social media, and engage with the accounts when relevant updates pop up. It's a great way to engage with a company in a casual way while communicating your interest in what they're doing.
Set up office visits. During my junior year of college I didn't have any internships lined up. Instead of wallowing about it, I took action! I researched advertising, PR and marketing agencies in Atlanta that I admired and sent out emails to all of them to set up office shadowing days. Not a single agency turned me down! This is the first time that I truly began to believe in my current mantra – "the worst thing they can say is 'no.'"
During these visits I was able to get one-on-one time with the owners and account directors of several prominent agencies in the city, which was a huge learning experience for me. One of the agencies even put me to work during the day and let me put together a social content calendar for a client – so fun! What's even better is that when the next summer rolled around, one of the agencies reached out to me to offer me an internship. Although I had already accepted a position with another agency, it was so flattering to know that they remembered me all thanks to that one office visit.
Continue to apply. This might seem like a no-brainer, but just because you didn't land a summer internship initially, it doesn't mean that you can't continue to apply! If all summer internships applications have closed, it's never too early to begin planning for fall and winter sessions, which are typically much less competitve to land.
What are you doing this summer other than interning? Share your thoughts with us in a comment below or tweet us at @HeyWorkingGirl!