By Katy Kelly
College students are already balancing classes, clubs, part-time jobs and much more, so throwing internship applications and interviews on top of that can quickly lead to over-worked, stressed out students. The key to avoiding this kind of stress is to get organized, and have your internship materials ready.
“I did a lot work starting over break because I had a lot of free time,” said junior sociology major Courtney Wells. “I normally try to ask to schedule my interviews on Fridays which is easiest for me.” Wells said that she once had to miss class for an interview, but her professor was understanding.
Senior government and politics major Anjali Belur found a congressional internship through one of the university’s email lists.
“It is really easy to keep an eye open to the listservs and emails that UMD sends out, or even Facebook postings,” she said. “It’s important to stay open-minded and let things come to you.”
Getting to interviews early and doing research about each organization beforehand is important in order to make good impressions, said Allynn Powell, the associate director at the University of Maryland Career Center. She also said dressing professionally and forgoing distracting accessories is important.
“Dress to impress,” she said. “Regardless of the organization’s culture, it will be important for you to put your best foot forward in terms of appearance.”
Powell also said applicants should “bring a professional portfolio to keep extra copies of your resume, a pen, to take notes in and to collect business cards.”
She also recommends that students practice interviewing and brainstorm thoughtful answers to common interview questions.
“It may sound silly, but there is nothing like practicing answers to some of the most basic interview questions so that you are well prepared,” she said.
Allison Leap, a junior supply chain management and business management major, said that confidence is key when it comes to answering questions in an interview.
“They know you are a college student and you don’t have a lot of professional experience,” she said. “Just be confident and capitalize on the experiences you do have.”