Searching for an internship vs. securing an internship

Although it’s not as simple of a dichotomy as this blog post title would imply, I posit that most college students are putting their effort into the former more so than the latter.  Here’s my visual interpretation of how most college students view their internship search:

Search for postings > drop resume > wait > hope for interview

When in fact, the search probably needs to look more like this:

Meet people + have conversations > meet more people > have more conversations > explore for opportunities > circulate resume> do some informational interviews > search for postings > drop resume > meet more people > circulate resume > have more conversations > do more informational interviews….

Students understand the phrase “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know.”  They use it to me all the time when I ask them if they understand the importance of networking.  But, where I think many fall short is that it’s not really who you know.  It’s a combination of “who knows you” and “do they know what you’re looking for,” and “will they help you” thrown in for good measure. In a competitive environment, it’s not as simple as finding the right opportunities.  It’s really about maximizing your effort to secure those opportunities, and this is the where the majority of my students fall short.

I understand students are busy.  But, I also know the student who dedicates sincere and consistent energy beyond simply dropping resumes will secure an internship 100 times more frequently than one who only drops resumes.  It’s hard work finding work!  But, energy contributed equals results.  So, my advice to students is this:  be active. As I type this I realize this is all common sense stuff.  But, I can’t begin to count the number of times I ask a student what they’ve done thus far, and the answer is almost always the same:  I’ve submitted my resume to a few places.

I’m here to 100% support and encourage and teach and assist.  But, If you want  that ideal summer internship, prove it to me and go get it!

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