Welcome back to the “how to” blog series on finding an internship at an agency. Hopefully, you found the first two steps helpful and have come back for more. So I’ll stop wasting your time and get to the point:
Step 3 – The search
Use any and all resources available to you to find potential internships and companies to work at. If you’re looking for agencies in a specific geographic area, an easy way to start a list of companies is by simply using Google searches. Also, using resources on campus, such as a career center, can be very helpful. It is important that you make a long list of agencies, because landing an internship at an agency many times comes down to the number of places you’ve applied to.
Step 4 – Calling, emailing, and finding contacts
Now is when you should start to contact the agencies that you want to work at. First, make a word document that has an outline of what you will say in your calls and emails to each agency. This can help create an assembly line approach that will be helpful in contacting a large number of agencies—but be sure to tailor what you say to each company so that each phone call/email is company specific.
Find as many contacts as possible. The applications at agencies start piling up and your application will most likely be lost in the mass of other intern hopefuls. Your best chance at being considered is by contacting people within the agency directly by calling or emailing them. This means finding a contact in human resources or anyone else that looks like he or she may be involved in the internship process.
Perhaps the best possible way to get that coveted interview is to find a contact within the agency who will refer you to someone that he or she knows. Any relatives or friends who have worked in agencies can serve as great networking tools. Even on campus, using teachers, fellow students, and other staff is a great way to find a useful contact.
After speaking with the contacts you’ve found, still apply through each agency’s preferred application process. The more lines you cast out, the better chance you’ll have of catching a fish.
Step 5 – Check back, but give it time
After you’ve gone through the first three steps, it’s time to start playing the waiting game. Be careful, though, if you haven’t heard back from any companies within a week and a half or so, contact them to check in on the progress. From here, you’ll have to play it by ear to be sure that you’re not forgotten, but be even more certain that you aren’t being a nuisance by continually asking for updates.
So that’s it. Those are the five steps I used and recommend that you use to find an internship at an agency. Ultimately, the process will vary somewhat for everyone, but these five steps should serve as a solid foundation for anyone looking to land an agency internship.