Helena B: How to get your first internship — taking advantage of BU platforms.

When I was in high school, one of the things I was most excited about for when I arrived at university was experiencing what it meant to be an intern. Regardless of how much I would get paid, if at all, or what responsibilities I would be given, I loved the idea of gaining my first experiences in the Film industry as soon as possible. 

I found that once I was actually in college and handed all these opportunities it was overwhelming to think about. Why would anyone want to hire an 18-year-old with virtually no experience? My biggest revelation was noticing how much better it is to focus on smaller, more achievable goals before getting devastated by the pressures of having to immediately get hired by big-name companies.

So that’s exactly what I did, and it made the experience so much more rewarding, and a lot less stressful. I started by using the ‘BU Connects’ platform to contact any people in the film industry who went to my same university. I didn’t ask them for a job, or ask if they could help me get one, but I communicated to them my hopes and dreams for the future and listened to their advice on skills that I might need or experiences and issues they faced when they were in my same situation. 

This helped me gain confidence, and also allowed me to concentrate my resumé and cover letter on aspects that I knew would be appreciated by employers in the industry. My next step was to use another of Boston University’s helpful platforms, ‘VMock’ , and work on making my resumé as good as I could. Remember not to get too overwhelmed with making it flawless just yet. It’s a long and tedious process, but instead of striving for perfection I tried to focus on a few main achievements. I created a resumé ( and cover letter) that truly reflects my interests and skills. From here, I started searching for opportunities!

For my first internship I wanted to focus on something a bit more local, smaller, where I could really get to know the community and also have a good first experience without getting super overwhelmed. I strived away from companies I knew too well, and explored parts of the industry and types of companies that really reflected my interests. 

I searched on the last BU Platform I will mention, ‘Handshake’, for smaller scale internship opportunities, and also did my independent research in order to find opportunities in greater Boston. I applied to as many as I found. 

A helpful reminder for me was to wish for a response without expecting one. Don’t get me wrong, it’s great to strive to achieve great things and it is also important to be confident when applying to these opportunities, but in the end rejection is part of the process, so don’t let it beat you down! 

Remember, the right place for you will show up in unexpected ways!


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