Finding a Summer Internship

By Maggie Esnard

Summer vacation is supposed to be about relaxing, catching up on Netflix and spending time with friends. In other words, not working. There’s a reason it’s called a vacation. But for some students, it’s a time to strengthen a resume with hands-on experience.

Internships are invaluable opportunities to learn how an industry works, get a feel for a certain job and most importantly, learn if this is what one wants to do. Internships can get a foot in the door, and might even lead to a full-time offer before walking the graduation stage.

So, how does one get hired for an internship?

Sometimes, it’s about who you know, as Alexandra Holley, an advertising and public relations accelerated master’s student, can attest. “I went on the Los Angeles Industry Immersion trip with C&IS this spring. While I was there, I connected with the people I had met on LinkedIn,” says Holley.

A few months later, one of those connections paid off. “One of the people I met and connected with over a shared Capstone Agency client reached out to me and asked if I would be interested in applying for an internship at the Los Angeles office.” After sending in her resume and three interviews later, Holley signed her offer letter and moved to Los Angeles for the summer. “My one piece of advice,” Holley says, “is to reach out to alumni in whatever field you are interested in. They’ve been in your shoes and can give tailored advice that can help you achieve your goals.”

Another good place to start looking is the Alabama Career Center, which has a page dedicated to internship resources and Handshake, an application portal with plenty of opportunities.

But once an internship is secured, there’s still the matter of housing. Some people end up finding an internship in their hometown or have family to take them in. But some, like senior Public Relations student Macy Barshick, have internships in a city where they have to find their own place.

Barshick offers some great advice for after securing a place to stay during an internship. “First, I emailed colleges in the area,” Barshick says, “It never hurts to ask.”

And while most colleges in her area did not offer non-student housing, one of the smaller colleges was willing to lease her a space. Another college did not offer housing, they did give her a list of housing resources that they offer to their students.

“I looked at a few rental websites and Facebook pages,” Barshick says. She recommends using caution when looking for a sub-lease through Facebook groups, as she noticed several scams. Be smart and do a little research!

Internships might mean one does not get a relaxing summer vacation, but they can lead to an interesting summer, sometimes with unexpected personal or professional opportunities. Finding an internship can be easy or difficult, but there is nothing like the thrill of exploring a new city and a new job.

All it takes is one application.

Maggie Esnard serves as the Food and Health Editor. She is a senior majoring in public relations and minoring in digital consumer engagement. You can find Maggie roaming the halls of Reese Phifer or at an early morning yoga class, if she’s not at Target.