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How to Land the Holy Grail Summer Internship

It all started about six months ago in my Professional Development class. We were instructed to set-up LinkedIn and Handshake accounts, finish crafting our resumes and cover letters, and start the search. 

I began the process in October of 2018 and didn’t finish until April of 2019. Throughout that time, I applied to over 30 different internships in digital marketing, social media, public relations, event management, and sales spaces. A majority of these applications were to companies such as Adidas, Sherwin Williams, Williams Sonoma, and a few smaller nonprofits in hopes of having any sort of chance to land the holy grail summer internship. 

Searching for a summer internship was exhausting, depleting, and even negatively affected my self-esteem. I did everything right, according to my Professional Development counselor, but I was receiving rejection after rejection and a long list of ghosted applications. 

Every counselor, professor, friend, or family member I had talked to about internships told me I most likely wasn’t going to land one through an application, but rather networking – and they were right. My friend and coworker, Brigid Lowney, connected me with someone at MBT Marketing and the rest is history! 

Now, after finally landing the perfect internship in social media, I’m here to say that though the process is tough, there are some steps you can take to increase the odds that an employer (and an awesome one at that) will hire you! 

Set-up LinkedIn and Handshake and any other job board account you can find. Stalk the job boards all the time. Set up alerts for jobs you’re interested in. Filter for what you need/want out of job (paid vs. unpaid, location, industry, etc.) 

Do informational interviews. This is a GREAT way to put yourself in front of an employer. Even if you go in just wanting to learn more about an industry, this forces them to learn about who you are in person versus on an application you might send to them. 

In the end, ask them if they have internship opportunities or if they’d be willing to create one. Nothing ever hurts to ask because the worst thing they can say is no, right?

Do NOT be too picky when searching for an internship. Unless you’ve already completed an internship for a specific job, and didn’t like it, make sure to cast your net wide and far. You never know what you like or don’t like until you’ve done it. For me, this was the hardest part. Although I applied to a variety of internships, I still limited myself until the end neared. 

Though these three pieces of advice may seem simple, it can be discouraging throughout the application process. 

Despite my beefed-up resume and crafted cover letter, meetings with career counselors, professors, and so on, it truly came down to these three actions. The search will sometimes feel like it’s out of you’re out of control and that your life is in the hands of the employers – and this is half true. The half that you can control is following these instructions and casting your net wide for more opportunity! 

From the staff at MBT and myself, we wish you the best of luck during your internship search and hope you’ll consider us as an option! 

If you’re interested in an internship at MBT, please contact Kirk, our Internship Program Manager, at kirk@mbtmarketing.com or check out our Careers Page for current opportunities!