Internship advice for college students

Tiffany Gilman is an experienced marketing and promotions professional, freelance writer and simotaneously; a thriving property manager overseeing a portfolio of 6 properties in Los Angeles and San Diego, California. A Southern California native, Tiffany earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Integrated Marketing from Emerson College in Boston, MA. After graduating, Tiffany migrated to Hollywood, California where she pursued her desire to work in the music business. Since coming to Los Angeles, which she know calls home, Tiffany has been privileged to work with Sony Music Entertainment, the Tony Award-Winning La Jolla Playhouse, Center Theatre Group, The Hollywood Bowl, Terry Fator: The Voice of Entertainment, and many more independent arts and entertainment related projects. Outside of the entertainment arena, Tiffany also enjoys working with small businesses, non-profits and is a certified Grief Support Group Leader with the nationally recognized nonprofit, Our House, where she volunteers her time weekly to work with children battling grief. (www.TiffanyNicoleGilman.com)

In college, the thought of working hard through school to land your first dream job is often times the centerfold of one’s ambition to “not give up.” To stay in on a Friday night to study hard for a final on Monday and to eagerly await for each semester to be over so that the fun can start to begin, with an internship around the corner.

I never knew the true importance of internships until I packed up my bags, followed my heart and landed in Hollywood, California. If you aspire to have a thriving marketing career, want to work on Wallstreet or follow your ambition and drive to the road to success…whatever that may be for you, then set yourself up for the journey by attaining internships.

The ‘real world,” the world after schooling ends is challenging and competitive. It is about in many cases, “who you know” so that your resume can easily stand out amongst the crowd and make it’s way to the hiring manager…or at least a live person and not generalized online application system. When you graduate college, you want to be prepared. Hiring managers will not so much put emphasis on your GPA but what you did through school to prepare yourself for your desired industry.

There are a couple of ways to go about seeking and landing the right internships for you. However the best way in my opinion and based on experience is to make a list of companies and organizations you could see yourseld working for or perhaps have dreamed of working with. After you have made a list visit each accompanying website and inquire. You will find that many employers list their internship opportunities directly on the company website under “jobs” or “careers,” in which they encourage students to apply just as if applying for a paid position. In some cases, you will find paid internships, but in all cases you should seek an internship that fulfills the needs of not only your school credits but also that seems engaging and well suited for you. It’s important, just like when on a job interview to have a good gut feeling about the people, internship duties, and company atmosphere. Get to know the various departments and understand the needs of each.

Additionally, you will want to be prepared with a cover letter and professional resume. If you are unsure of how to create this, as I myself remember it was overwhelming of how to put one together, ask a friend or family member who is older or when in doubt, it is not a bad idea to hire a professional resume writing service.

Overall, come to each interview prepared. Dress professionally, bring your fancy cover letter and resume printed on resume stock paper, and bring any writing or project samples you have that may pertain to the job. Be able to commit to at least 3 months if not more. Be pro-active and be willing to be a team player and attend extra outings if invited, such as specialty events. Have a can-do attitude but know your limits, and most of all – have fun while at it. Show your sense of professionalism-meets-personality and try to gather 2-4 internships in the field of your choice before graduating college. You will stand out amongst the rest when applying for entry level jobs and well, if you’re lucky like I was…you’ll probably even land your dream job from intern to employee.

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