Hear ye, hear ye: the time is upon us – the flood gates have opened. It’s application season for summer internship programs!
Each year I marvel at the talented students who arrive on MRY’s doorstep in mid-June. Competition for the coveted spots is stiff – and we take the hiring process quite seriously. After all, it’s an internal point of pride to have “the best” intern working on your team.
Of course, there’s something real at stake for the interns, too. It’s a summer-long opportunity to ingratiate oneself to an employer, which could mean leapfrogging other candidates when a job opens up after graduation. Simply put, by the time you’re ready to return to school, you want your employer to wonder how it could live without you.
So how do you break through the application clutter?
Some of this seems obvious, but time and again, I have seen candidates for internships – and even for full-time roles – who haven’t done any homework on their targeted company and the industry overall. With that in mind, a few tips to stand-out:
1) Know what the agency/company does. Period.
2) Treat the application process seriously. Think about why you want it. What is it that you can bring to agency/company X? Articulate what makes you the best candidate. What are you hoping to learn?
3) Do you know what’s going on in the industry? What are the current trends? What’s coming? Which campaigns are strong, which are weak and how might they be positioned differently?
4) Are you following your desired company/agency? Engage! Let us know you are out there.
5) What are you reading? Are you following the industry thought-leaders? Why did you make these choices?
6) Show your passion… show your passion… show your passion(!)
Yes, rock-star interns come in many shapes and sizes. Those applicants who can articulate their accomplishments and also have a point of view about the future of the industry will undoubtedly stand out from the pack.