I started the fall of my sophomore year listening to my older friends talk about their stress surrounding summer internships. Their rambling started my nerves. “Do I need a job? Who is going to hire me?” My resume was scarce, to say the least. I had worked at summer camp and a dance studio but my real life advertising experience consisted solely of Ad Club. I scrolled through pages and pages of advertising agencies websites until I noticed one consistency with all of the applications:
“We are only accepting applications from graduation years 2019, 2018 or earlier.”
“Only rising seniors and post-grads are eligible to apply. “
“Sophomore are ineligible to submit applications for this position.”
Even agencies in my hometown had similar rules for their internship applications. This can be incredibly disheartening, especially for students who feel ready to see what the “real world” is like. So, as promised, here are my tips on finding a summer internship in your field.
Use your network.
LinkedIn is an amazing tool that gives you the ability to see who can jumpstart your summer job search. I used the chat feature to reach out to several of my older friends to get insight on where to look when your age feels like the biggest hurdle in getting a job. Also, don’t be afraid to use your parents and their friends to introduce you to players in your field. Most of the time they are very excited to offer help and their introduction might carry a little more weight.
Research a TON!
When I don’t know how to solve a problem, my go-to is to understand it. In the fall, I spent a lot of my free time reading AdWeek and AdAge as well as drafting resumes and cover letters to send out to any HR staff whose email I could find. Through research, I also figured out which COM professors were key players in the field and could help me get a foot in the door.
Nail the Interview.
If you get lucky enough as a sophomore to get asked for an in-person interview, prepare very thoroughly. Research the company and clients. Be familiar with major campaigns and their results. Examine their social media to get a feel for the culture and what they look for. Know the lingo about different programs and field jargon so you can speak their language. The fear of employers with younger college students is the ability to fit a professional workplace. Quell their fears by coming in well dressed and well educated.
Just Study Abroad
If you still can’t seem to lock down an internship with all those brilliant tips: just study abroad. BU offers a ton of international and domestic internships during the summer that provides you with a global experience. BU works very closely with those that are accepted to go abroad to make sure you are fully experiencing what it is like to work in another culture. In addition, you will be adding relevant experience to your future resume. So if in doubt, just hop on the plane and go!