Looking for an internship can be a full-time job in itself. I have spent countless hours searching for public relations and marketing internship postings, only to discover that not many were posted.
Frustrated, yet determined, I formulated a new approach: to research agencies I thought would be a good fit for me, and directly e-mail them about internships. To my delight, this proved very successful, confirming the importance of networking.
Here are three reasons to expand your internship search by directly contacting the companies you are interested in working for.
- You can expand your network. Even if the company you reached out to doesn’t have an opening, it is valuable to establish relationships. Start with an email and telephone call, then request a meeting – formal or informal – to make a connection. Hopefully, you will make an impression that leads to a position or a referral.
- Free Advice. Always ask for advice. In my experience, professionals are almost always open to sharing their career path and what they learned along the way. It can be very helpful to ask for a review of your resume, portfolio and interview. Most professionals are more than happy to share their experience and expertise, which can give you direction while also helping you to build a relationship.
- You may get hired. Taking the initiative to personally email, then call a company will set you apart from your competition. Your efforts may even create an opportunity where one did not exist. Personally, I was able to secure a great summer internship by taking the initiative to reach out to an agency that I targeted. Looking beyond postings turned out to be one a truly smart and rewarding decision.