By: Nina Bressau
Account Supervisor, Bird Arena and Student Senate
After joining multiple student groups, completing various unpaid internships and building a network of professionals, I finally got my dream internship this summer before beginning my senior year. How? Build connections, retaining connections and consistently trying to get your foot into the door of the workplace. I tried to come up with five important points that help you get the internship you have always wanted.
1. Build connections. They are everywhere.
You hear it over and over again: Meet professionals, introduce yourself, stay connected to classmates, professors and speakers. It’s true. I would probably not have gotten my current internship without the necessary connections.
One night I was dining at Wild Ginger in Hyde Park Cincinnati (FYI- delicious!) with my parents, when my dad recognized a woman sitting a few tables away from us. He told me she worked at a branding agency downtown Cincinnati and I was immediately interested in meeting her. I contacted her via email and set up an informational interview in her office at Landor. I was very impressed by the agency and developed more connections through my initial contact.
Again, people are everywhere. Get to know them.
2. Stay in contact and try to meet in person.
When I set up an informational interview, I had the luck to meet in her office. I was able to see the interior of Landor and get an idea of the atmosphere. Meeting in person leaves a stronger impression and leads to better communication.
3. Join every club that sounds interesting.
Although I major in PR, I was very active with the OU Advertising Association. I cannot stress how important it is to develop different skills, even if you think you know exactly what you would like to do one day. My current internship is in client services, which requires both PR and advertising skills. Although the majority of my work has been communications, it is very important to understand the industry when working at an advertising or branding agency.
4. Be a good student.
Yes, you should retain a high GPA if you want to be considered for a valuable internship or job. I was told that most companies prefer to see a GPA starting at 3.6. More importantly, be nice to everyone you meet – you may need their help or advice one day.
5. Be interested and be interesting.
Always be engaged and focused on your work. If you do not understand something, don’t be afraid to ask. My manager has told me she was very happy with my constant questions during the first weeks. Also, show your character and be yourself. Employers do not want to have a company full of the same talents. Be yourself and you will appear more interesting and likable.
Finally, the secret of succeeding in your internship? Enjoy every single moment of it. If you are passionate about something, you should be able to reach your goals. My mentor has given me that advice and it has helped me throughout my internship – if you are always enjoying what you are doing, work will appear much easier.