4 Tips for Landing Your Dream Internship

student at business internship fair

In photo, RIC students come together for the annual Job & Internship Fair. Get a leg up on the competition BEFORE you graduate.

Recent graduates often run into job descriptions that ask for one or two years of experience. How do you get that experience if you’re still in college? The answer could be an internship. 

According to Melissa Carvalho, former assistant director of career counseling and employer relations at RIC’s Career Development Center, “Be it an internship, student employment or a part-time job in which you use professional skills, students who get on-the-job experience while still in college have a leg up on those who don’t.”

Carvalho is not alone in her thinking. Employers overwhelming agree that they would be more likely to hire recent graduates who’ve had an internship than those who have not (Harvard Business Review). Carvalho can show you how to land one.

First Find Out Your Career Interests

If you don’t know what your career interests are, TypeFocus can help you narrow it down. TypeFocus is an online career exploration tool, which you can access on the Career Development Center’s website. It can tell you which one of 16 personality types you are and the careers associated with that personality type you would probably enjoy.

Search for Internships Online

The Career Development Center has an online job portal, Handshake, where you can search for internships available in your career field. Handshake accounts are free to RIC students, alumni and employers. It also provides a 24/7 career library that allows you to research career fields; download complete industry guides; engage in conversations with those who share your career interests; review sample résumés, cover letters, etc.; get job search advice and more.

Create a Strong Résumé and Cover Letter

Counselors at the Career Development Center can help you capture your skills and abilities on your résumé and cover letter. Don’t assume that your résumé is flawless. Two sets of eyes are always better than one when it comes to sharpening your résumé. You might also ask a professor in the field or a professional in the industry to look it over.

Practice Your Interview Skills

Schedule a mock interview with a career counselor to perfect your presentation.

career development center
At RIC, these students navigate Handshake, the online job portal, to search for an internship.

And remember there is more than one way to get your foot in the door when it comes to landing the internship of your dreams.

Communication major Raymond Baccari, who wants to work in television news, simply Googled local TV news stations to find out if they offered internships and then sent in his application. He included his résumé, a letter of recommendation and a cover letter. Now the junior is interning at ABC 6 News. (Read about his experience and that of other students.)

It is recommended that you also attend job and internship fairs as well as alumni networking events at RIC to meet professionals in your field who may know of potential internship opportunities and put in a good word for you.

For more information, stop by the Career Development Center located in Adams Library, Level 1A, or call 401-456-8031. The center is open Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.