Posted by: Sarah Kemp | March 5, 2010

Internship Advice 101

Internships are the necessity in today’s job market. They are not only a great way to gain experience in a field that you are interested in, but also for networking, problem-solving, and personal growth within the time you are working with a company. I have completed two internships myself, one for the USGA as a marketing intern at the 2009 U.S. Open, and also for Engine Room Audio, a music and mastering studio in New York city. After I completed these internships last summer, I felt more at ease with the “real world” and had a better idea of what I attended to do with my B.S. in PR from GSU.

One of my friends that attends Northeastern University interned at J.H. Cohen Accountants at their New York city location, and was hired after the completion of her internship! So… I thought it would be great to ask someone successful at their internship for some advice for others that are looking for, or in an internship. Sam’s advice was:

  1. Meet new people. Try to introduce yourself to as many people during the first week of your internship. I was given an office, and tried to keep to myself, but it was awkward when someone would come into my office that I had not met yet. After that, I went around to everyone on my floors office and introduced myself.  I made a lot of new friends and made a great impression too!
  2. Get involved. I joined the company softball team while I was interning and it was a great way to network in a more casual setting. It was an opportunity to really get to know the other employees outside of work.
  3. Follow Up. After your internship is complete make sure that you keep in contact with the company. This shows them that you enjoyed your experience that you had, and are still interested in their company. Also, I gave out hand-written thank-you notes to all of the people who helped me throughout my internship, and that was another thing that can set you apart from other interns.

Another one of my friends at Georgia Southern just completed her internship at the Ronald McDonald House in Atlanta. She offered some advice on getting an internship. Carleigh’s advice was:

  1. Look online. There are a lot of website that are only for internships. The sites usually break down the field that you want to go into, location, and companies that are hiring. A few good ones she suggested were:
  2. Do your research. When I was being interviewed for a few internships I always made sure that I looked up the company, looked at their website, and to see if there were any up coming events, etc. This always made a good impression during the interview when we could have a conversation about topics that were occurring, instead of having to explain everything to me.
  3. Social Media skills. Tell your employer about your skills with different social media sites, blogs, etc. A lot of companies are trying to expand their reach, and if you could help them, your the new intern!


  1. Good advice. I love hearing about people who get hired after an internship. I hope this happens to me. 🙂 I have heard more stories of students getting job opportunities after an internship, than I have heard of students simply getting hired. Maybe this is the best way to get your foot in the door. It is also a good reminder that hand-written notes go a long way. We are such technological people that we usually just send an e-mail, because it effortless. Take the effort and write a note, I will have to remember that!

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  3. Unfortunately I chose to take the Senior Seminar course instead of an internship. Don’t get me wrong, the class is great and helpful, but to do an internship would have been much more fulfilling. You are so right about internships being a great way to gain experience, and gain contacts and connections. That’s wonderful you have two internships under your belt, you’ll be all set come graduation and life after graduation. I know it’s never too late to do an internship, so its something I might still consider doing, and if I get one I will definitely use the advice your friend gave about meeting a lot of people while there, getting involved and to follow up after I have completed the internship.

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  5. Hey Sarah! I really enjoyed reading your post about tips for internships. I interned last summer at CNN and I agree with both Sam’s and Carleigh’s advice. However, meeting new people, getting involved and following up are the most important, I would have to say. Networking leads to endless opportunities for your future. Get involved in anything and everything. Do not wait to be told to do something, because more than likely you will be waiting for a long time and your supervisor does not have time to baby-sit. Follow-up, this is key. Even if you do not plan on working with the company that you interned for, you may need them for a recommendation in the future. Do not limit your options. Great advice Sarah!

  6. Hey Sarah. Good advice. Internships can really help you learn more about yourself. You can find out if you really like or dislike an aspect of a particular industry. I can say from experience that internships can really give you a realistic look at how good or bad you are going to start out in your industry. If you are enjoying what you are doing in the internship it can only means great things for you in that industry. Since we are coming up on times were social media becoming more and more mainstream mentioning you skills in that area to potential companies really makes you very marketable.

  7. I found your post in internship advice to be very helpful. Since you have already experienced working as an intern not just once, but twice, I found you to be a credible source. It is refreshing to have someone who has already been there and figured it out for them self, to provide insight. I agree with you completely that an internship provides a great opportunity and that it can give you an idea of the “real world” and what to expect once you are in the work field. I also thought that then advice to include social media skills was helpful. As time are changing so is the high level of importance of social networking sites in the PR world. Potential employers would like to know that you posses the skills to navigate through these sites.

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  9. Sarah,
    I found this post to be very interesting and also helpful! How good is it to hear of someone getting a job after the completion of an internship. It seems almost rare to hear of it anymore, but when you do, its pretty exciting. I completely agree with Carleigh when it comes to doing your research and then telling that employer about what you can offer them through social media. Not many people from earlier generations have tuned it like our generation. Its something that we can produce within a company anywhere if they are willing to let us. Thanks!
    -Kati Ann

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