How to Get an Internship

If you want to break into an industry, any industry, the best strategy is to be born into a family that owns a business in that field. The next best thing is to get an internship.

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Up next in Internships and Summer Jobs (6 videos)

Land the internship of your dreams or find the perfect summer job with these tips.

You Will Need

  • Computer
  • Phone
  • Unflagging tenacity

Steps

  1. Step 1

    Choose field

    Pick a field to intern in. Choose something that’s exciting to you. You don’t have to know a lot about the field—that’s what the internship is for—you just need a genuine enthusiasm for learning more about it.

  2. Step 2

    Update resume

    Update your resume. Include any work experience or academic study related to the field you want to intern in.

  3. Many internships are unpaid—be prepared to live cheaply.

  4. Step 3

    Talk to internship coordinator

    If you go to a school with an internship coordinator, see if he or she can advise you on your area of interest.

  5. Step 4

    Tell everyone you're looking

    Tell everyone—friends, family, neighbors, dentists, flight attendants—that you’re looking for an internship. You never know who knows whom.

  6. Step 5

    Send emails

    Send an email to all the reputable companies in your field, even if they don’t officially offer internships. People will respond to enthusiastic inquiries.

  7. If there’s a company you really want to work for, consider contacting high-level people there directly. If they like you, they could make something happen for you right away.

  8. Step 6

    Book interviews

    Book as many interviews as you can.

  9. Step 7

    Send note or email

    Send a thank-you note or email after all your interviews.

  10. Step 8

    Be enthusiastic & work hard

    When you get the internship, be enthusiastic and work hard. Remember, the people you’re working for could give you a real job next year. And besides, everyone hates a lazy intern.

  11. Microsoft founder Bill Gates once interned as a congressional page—and supported himself by selling old campaign buttons as collectors’ items.

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