How To Land a Big City Internship When You're From a Small Town
I had a student tweet to me the other day asking me to blog on this subject. She said she was from a small town and wanted a big city internship. Are you in the same boat? With fall internships right around the corner, you have three main options:
1. Intern in the city where you go to school (high school or college).
2. If your school has a program where they take interns out of the state for internships, get more information, and jump on the bandwagon!
3. If you are doing a study abroad program next semester, find an internship or job shadowing opportunity while you're away!
Just because you might not be able to travel out of your city or state this fall semester, it doesn't mean you won't be able to set your sights high for Summer 2014. It's never too early to start planning. Remember, several of the Fortune 500 PAID Internship programs start their Summer 2014 applicant search and recruitment process in SEPTEMBER -- so you want to make sure you are on top of your game and don't miss a beat.
Now, I wasn't from a really small town but I was going to school in both Tallahassee, Florida and Orlando, Florida. But I was still able to travel to New York City and Los Angeles over the summer(s) to intern. If I can do it, you can do it. Here are a few tips:
1. Start Early.As I mentioned, many large companies start their recruitment process in September and have early November deadlines for Summer 2014.
2. Make Your Intern Queen Dream List. If you don't have a copy of my book please go pick it up. I want you to read the entire thing (trust me, it will help) but really focus on the Intern Queen Dream List section. I want you to fill out your Intern Queen Dream List and apply for at least 10 opportunities by mid-September. If you are focusing on entertainment, media, PR, fashion internships -- they might not be recruiting this early, but make sure to check on the Summer 2014 deadlines. If you can't apply for those until early 2014, you can hold off. Make sure you use the Dream List to keep track of your applications and where you are applying.
3. Start Saving ASAP! One of the reasons many students don't travel over the summer is because of finances. Let's build a budget now so that you know exactly how much you need for next summer. Make a list: look into housing information, estimate how much you would need for food, bills and entertainment. Come up with a plan and try to save as much as you can on your own.
4. Follow Up & Apply for More! If you don't hear anything back a few weeks (2-3) after you send out your applications, you might want to slowly apply for more opportunities. Again, the goal is to land something. Better yet -- give yourself some options!
5. Connect With Others Who Have Interned in Your Dream City. It's smart to connect with former interns who have lived in the city that you want to visit. Ask them about the process! They can help you out in terms of housing resources and budgeting questions -- and they might even have a former internship coordinator to introduce you to!