At one point or another, you may have imagined landing a big fancy summer internship at the company of your dreams. However, as quickly as the dream was formed, it was dashed with the realization that you don’t know anyone inside the company that could vouch for your worth as an intern, and securing such an opportunity would likely never happen.
Don’t become too discouraged just yet, because your dream summer internship is possible! With the proper networking skills and tools, you can create an “in” with almost any company.
So, here are four simple steps to help make your wildest internship dreams come true.
The first and easiest thing you can do to start your process of networking with a company is to create an up-to-date LinkedIn account. Although people rarely get approached with job offers on this social media site, LinkedIn can help you find out other useful information.
Dave Livingston, whom will be starting a job at J.P. Morgan in April said, “I used LinkedIn to get more information on the people I was talking to or being interviewed by throughout college. When preparing for informational phone calls or interviews, the interviewee will most likely look you up as well, so it’s important to have a good profile.”
Talk to your career counselor
After revamping your professional profile on LinkedIn, talking to the career counselor at your school can also be a great asset. Their entire job is dedicated to making connections with several major companies, and your counselor may happen to have a great one with the company you are interested in.
Brenna Cox, currently a junior at Drake University in De Moines, Iowa landed both of her internships through her career counselor. While looking for ideal internship opportunities, her counselor sent out an email that detailed her dream position.
After talking to her academic advisor and getting more information on the internship opportunity she was interested in, she said, “I applied through my university’s career website, and filled out a paper application” both of which were supplied by her university.
Many schools have various programs and opportunities available to it’s students, and getting in contact with your career counselor is the best way to find out.
Create your own professional mentor
What do you do when you’ve exhausted all of your resources and still haven’t found an inside contact? You simply create your own.
That is precisely what Kristin Roa, then a student at Arizona State University, did. She had already done her research, and knew she wanted to work at a PR agency in New York City.
Since she didn’t know anybody who worked there, she said, “I just emailed a person who did and it worked out perfectly. I told them I thought they worked for a great company and would love to talk to them for ten minutes to ask about what it’s like to work there.”
Having an inside source at your dream internship isn’t as crucial as it seems, especially when you can create your own.
Visit the corporate offices
Once you’ve maintained a professional relationship with your mentor, it would then be useful to visit the corporate office. This will give you an opportunity to meet them in person, as well as network with other coworkers and future employers.
A student at Brigham Young University, Abigail Keenan, has always dreamed of interning at Nike. After keeping in touch for over a year with Andy, an employee at the headquarter offices, Abigail decided to visit the campus.
She said of her experience, “I met with Andy along with three other contacts this trip…Overall it was such an amazing experience, and each person I met with gave me such useful information so that if I don’t get in this year, it will really help my chances for next year.”
This step, along with utilizing LinkedIn, talking to your career counselor, and creating a personal mentor , are a great way to land your dream summer internship at your dream company, even if you don’t have any connection with the people who work there.
What are some other ways you have landed your ideal internship? We’d love to know. Please comment below!
Mary Thompson is a junior at Brigham Young University studying public relations and design. She spent the majority of her younger years in Boise, Idaho and enjoys art, good documentaries and pie.