For all the second year IBCoM students at the end of this third term means on thing: INTERNSHIPS are around the corner. Happy to leave university and classes but also sad to leave your friends, that Internship time is a real roller-coaster experience. But that does not even compare to the struggling and annoying process of even getting an internship. And no I do not mean getting the internship of your dreams (because let’s face it that’s 99.9% impossible, and to those who did… bugger off) but getting any internship at all. This is because while we have the education and the knowledge and passion, there are many forces that work against us.
These struggles include but are not limited to the inadequate time before we go on exchange or do our minor, rendering it almost impossible to get any internship that askes for a minimum of 6 months. Another big challenge is language. Especially for an international looking for an internship within The Netherlands students often get rejected due to the fact, that they are not fluent in Dutch. While this clearly depends on the company, this is a factor that you should take into consideration when applying. But one of my favorites is being rejected because you don’t have a driver’s license… like what?
There are so many things to consider and to keep in mind during the application process.
- Make sure there are no spelling mistakes in any of your documents: Honestly, as someone who can’t spell if her life depended on it… use Grammarly and have someone read over it because there will be minor things that you won’t see yourself.
- Use the right company and right address: Yes, I almost once sent out an application for a company with the wrong company name still in the motivation letter…. Oops. DON’T DO THAT! It sounds stupid, and yes it was, but these things do happen.
- Send out as many applications and possible: Sending out more than one, not only increases your chance of getting a response and eventually an internship but also might give you the chance to chose between several internships.
- Don’t start too late: While I myself am famous for my procrastination skills I would not recommend this to anyone. When it comes to internships searching and applying earlier is better, as this gives you and the companies time to organize and plan.
- Interview dress code: Whether you are meeting in person of talking via Skype, make sure to be dressed in a formal matter and also if you do have a Skype interview, make sure that your surroundings are tidy… nobody wants to see your dirty laundry on the bed.
- Interview Questions: Try to come up with one of two questions that you can ask the interviewer at the end of your conversation. This suggests that you have done your homework that you are genuinely interested and want to know more.
- Ask for help: Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Whether it is your parents, friends, or other connections, make use of them and don’t be ashamed if you do. While doing things on your own is great and feels great, there is no shame in asking for some help.
While the process of finding an internship can be stressful and annoying, it is important to stay positive, even in the face of rejection. It is normal to not be accepted at a lot of companies however, it is important to keep trying. Even the failures are valuable lessons, as all the interviews that you have to go to only prepare you for the future. Here’s to hoping you get an internship that you really want, actually here’s to hoping you’ll get anything. Just kidding, I know you will.
Author: Emily Khöene
Editor: Kat Nivera