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Three tips that turned my NYC internship search around

March 30, 2011

Samantha Bankey (@SamanthaBankey) is a sophomore PR student at Ferris State University who just scored an awesome summer internship at ModelLoungeNYC. Today, she dishes out three tips that helped her press on after getting ignored on almost 30 applications.

Samantha Bankey, Ferris State University

Samantha Bankey

Most of us want to go far in life, and a big measure of how far we go is where we end up in our career. Many of us want the internship that is going to lead us in the right direction.

But how do you go about getting that internship?

Step 1: Get your resume ready.

This is a little obvious, but you can’t stress it enough. Be sure your resume is in tip-top condition. This means no spelling or grammatical errors (spell check AND proofread), appealing to the eye (bold important terms and titles and use some color), and is in the correct format. Be sure to go to your Career Services department at your school for a professional to look it over and give you ways to improve it.

Step 2: Don’t slack on your cover letters.

Write each cover letter as if you are talking to the CEO of that company in person. Explain to them how you found out about the company/internship, tell them about yourself and what you are trying to pursue, discuss your strengths and how you can help benefit the company in the department you are applying for, then discuss any last words.

I once worked at a used car dealership and then had an internship with the North American International Auto Show, but I was trying to pursue a fashion internship.

Write each cover letter as if you are talking to the CEO of that company in person.

I said to my employers, “I know you can see that I have experience in the auto industry, but I can assure you that I have a passion and eye for the fashion and beauty industries. I invite you to check out my fashion/beauty blog to see for yourself.” One more thing with your cover letters: be sure to put them in the body of your email. Some employers may not be compatible with different kinds of software, so it would be better to make it available right on the spot.

Step 3: Apply, apply, apply.

During the search for my summer internship, I thought it would only take me a few applications to hear back from something. Boy, was I sadly mistaken. I applied for five, heard nothing. Applied for 10, heard nothing. Applied for 20, heard nothing. I was in doubt that I would ever find an internship — especially in New York City, where fashion PR is mainstream. But a friend who had two interviews lined up for the summer told me to just keep applying, and I did. After about 25 or 30 emails to companies all over the country, I finally got an interview with one of them, which eventually led to a PR/marketing/event planning internship in the heart of Manhattan.

I believe by doing the things listed above, it is possible for you to land any internship you want. Just be yourself, and don’t get discouraged if you don’t hear back right away. Big companies receive applications from interns every day – you just have to show them why you stand out and why you are the best candidate for them!

Want to read more from Samantha? You can check out her portfolio page here and her fashion blog here.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Melissa March 30, 2011 at 1:16 pm

Great blog!! I went to NYC for spring break and scored 6 interviews.. Thats awesome, we are both on the same track!! Good luck!


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