Crash Course to Getting Your Best Internship EVER

By Guest Blogger: Morgan Kennedy F’17

Thinking about how to get that internship can be absolutely frightening. You know you should look for one, you know it will help you. Yet, the process seems horribly daunting. Too many options, too much competition, and too many applications make everything overwhelming.

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Internships do not have to be this way. They are meant to be a tool to discover industries, develop professional skills, and figure out your future career. This internship series is hoping to demystify the process and give every student the ability to find their professional potential. Over the next few weeks, we will write about helpful tips and ideas on how on stand out and get that internship

Part 1: Learn some new skills and knowledge

Excel
Learn Excel! Can I repeat that? Can I ever possibly emphasize enough how important Excel is? Maybe I will make a chart for you with my absolutely essential excel skills. In any internship, you will live, breathe, and become one with Excel. Any employer will expect you to know some basic aspects of how to work Excel. Yet, knowing more will take you so much farther. Learn PivotTables, PivotCharts, PowerView, and more to make any project faster, cleaner, and easier to understand.

If you know nothing about Excel or just want to learn more, there are great resources on campus. Besides sneaking into a Business OPUM class, you can learn Excel from browsing online lectures on Lynda, Youtube, or other resources. Think about a one on one consultation with multi-media gurus at the Gerladin Center. Showing an employer you know more than the basics can be a great step in standing out.

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Coding
The ability to code will open up amazing opportunities in any industry. You can more effectively organize data for research, design websites, produce apps, or just learn to develop your problem solving capabilities.

While getting into coding may seem intimidating, just take the plunge. Go to websites like codeacademy, Code.org, CodeSchool or Udemy. Get involved with Georgetown groups like Georgetown Women Who Code or the Computer Science Club. Be really adventurous and take Computer Science I next semester.

Before coming to Georgetown, I had no coding experience. Yet, even just after learning some basic Python, HTML, and CSS, I used my skills to build and implement web pages for my summer internship. Even knowing just a little bit of coding gave me a huge edge in the process and can do the same for you.

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Design Skills
More interested in creative industries? Show them that passion by learning new creative skills. Think about learning Photoshop, Illustrator, DreamWeaver, or any other new design skill. Yes, new tools will come and go, but learning today’s tools will give you the basic skills on how the creative process works.

The Gerladin Center offers courses in Photoshop, Illustrator, and Indesign. Go online to Lynda or watch endless videos on Youtube. Interns with design skills have the ability to craft promotional materials, create social media campaigns, and many more things. Even if you do not turn out to be the best artist in the world, knowing the process on how to use the programs and what goes into design will help you immensely.

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Think about what your industry would want
Every industry is different, thus they will be looking for different things. Learning industry specific skills and knowledge will help you prove your passion. It will help you know what is happening in the industry, get acquainted with the jargon, and most importantly, figure out if the profession is really for you. Want finance? Learn more about excel spreadsheets, figure out market trends on Capital IQ or Morningstar, read the Wall Street Journal, look up some words on Investopedia, and explore different companies on their websites. When you finally apply for the internship, you will know what you are talking about, you will have the skills to impress, and you will have a passion that shows. You will stand out.

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Check back in for next week’s post: Attitudes to Succeed

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