Check a bulletin board on campus for possible internship opportunities.
Internships. It is seemingly impossible to get a job without one (or a few) under your belt, but the application process suddenly appears daunting when most internship postings dictate “for so-and-so majors only.” What is a freshman/sophomore/person who hasn’t known what passion they wanted to pursue since they were 8 to do? Give up on the internship search? Never! Lie on their resume? Negative. Fortunately, an emphasis on networking, specific talents and professionalism can help those students land an internship.
Step 1: Follow your skills and interests.
Even if you don’t have a major, we all have our talents in certain subject areas. Why not search for postings, either fliers or online, for internships available in those departments at your university? The second internship I was ever offered stemmed from my walking through the English department, seeing a flyer for a PR/advertising internship, and thought, “That seems interesting, why not apply?” Additionally, some colleges even have internship classes open to all students in which professors use their resources to help students obtain internships for academic credit.
Step 2: Utilize your networks.
Luckily for those of us in the Millennial generation, we have a variety of networks at our disposal that goes beyond simply reaching out to family and friends. Twitter, for example, is amazing — sending a simple tweet of “I would love to become involved with (@insert company here), how would I go about doing that?” can open doors. Also, a more direct way to get your foot in the door of said company is by searching the contact information of either the internship coordinator or someone that has the job you want, and emailing them your resume and a brief summary of who you are, where you’re from and what you’re looking for. It might be a little intimidating throwing yourself out there, but it is that exact confidence to take initiative that stands out to potential employers.
Step 3: Have an awesome interview.
Even if you don’t have the major a company is looking for, or don’t think you have enough experience for a job, all you need is to have an awesome interview to be seriously considered. Prepare yourself by having your resume and cover letter on hand for quick reference, re-read the job description you’re applying for, look professional and, most importantly, be confident. If you are confident that you are the right person for the internship position and portray it to the employer, it will definitely make a lasting positive impression.
Following these steps, I have had an internship as a freshman, been the youngest student to be offered another internship in my previous university’s news office, scored an on-campus job via Skype interview before even arriving on campus as a transfer and have had opportunities to write for multiple companies just by reaching out to them on Twitter and email. I accomplished all this without declaring a major, and so can anyone with enough persistence and confidence. Remember, as Ayn Rand said, “The question isn’t who is going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me.”
Have other tips for undeclared majors in their internship search? Share them in the comments below!
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