All students in the School of Public Health are required to complete an internship relevant to their field of study between their first and second years. This time of year can be stressful for many students who are searching for an internship, including myself. Here are some tips I’ve learned while going through this process:
- Tailor your resume: I’ve found it extremely useful to make slight tweaks to my resume depending on which internship I’m applying for so that I can highlight certain skills or experiences that are the most relevant for a particular internship. The rule of thumb is that potential employers look over your resume in about 15 seconds, so you want to make sure that you can make as big of an impact as possible in that short time!
- Attend workshops through the career center: The career center at SPH holds many workshops, including ones on how to write effective cover letters, how to perfect your resume, how to interview well, etc. These will be very helpful in your internship search.
- Network: Last semester I attended a workshop (through the career center) on networking and its benefits. As the common saying goes, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” Whether or not this is actually true, there is something to be said for the power that proper networking can have. Putting yourself out there and striking up a conversation with people about your interests, as well as theirs, may lead to an opportunity that you didn’t previously think of. Also, depending on the strength of the relationship, your connections may be able to speak well of you to a potential employer.
- Don’t be afraid to contact people: When I first started looking for an internship, I limited my search to the SPH career connector website (which is a great resource!). My mindset was that I should only apply for actual “posted” internships that require a formal application. However, directly contacting companies or individuals via e-mail (there are also workshops on proper e-mail communication) can be extremely effective. Reaching out to people and showing your interest in working for them is often a way students find internships.
Good luck with your search!