Tips for a Worthwhile Internship Experience
BY: SELENA GONZALEZ
With the new semester around the corner, students are preparing to begin their new internships. Many of them are required to complete an internship in order to graduate. Those who are not required to do so are still advised and encouraged to complete one to make themselves more attractive to employers.
Danny Lemos, CSULB supervisor of student media such as KBeach, College Beat TV and the Union Weekly, offered some helpful advice for future interns. To those who find themselves lost at the beginning of an internship and unsure of how to succeed, here are a few tips to help you navigate and breeze through:
- Apply early: Submit your application as early as two weeks in advance. The earlier, the better. It gives you a better chance of getting the internship since there aren’t many applicants ahead of you. It also shows dedication and initiative on your part.
- Apply to as many internships as possible: Many internships require an interview, along with paperwork. You might have your heart set on an specific internship site, but if that doesn’t work out, you will need a second option. During the interview, relax and remember to fake it till you make it.
- Do a lot of small projects and maintain an abundance of work: Work on video, print and audio. If you intern for the student media on campus, you will more than likely be assigned to KBeach, Union Weekly or College Beat TV. Get hands-on experience in all three disciplines to possess as many useful skills as possible. Do not, however, burden yourself with too much work. Stressed out is not something you want to be at your internship.
- Get out of your comfort zone: Always take on the opportunity to do something you’ve never done before or need more practice on It can prove to be rewarding, and it will be very helpful once you get into the workforce.
- Be proactive: Seek opportunities off-campus and gain experience in multiple subjects. Look for opportunities if they don’t come to you.
- Make connections with those around you: Make friends not only with your supervisor and others in charge of you, but also with other interns. Their relationships will be network opportunities that you can utilize in the future. If you leave a good impression at your internship, you will stand out and be remembered.
- Remember that you are being watched: As my supervisor kindly pointed out, he is always watching his interns. When he isn’t, there are other people who do it. It is important to always be doing some kind of work and to offer your help to those around you.
So far in my own internship, I have further developed the skills I already possess and picked up new ones. I’ve tried to be as helpful as possible and to leave a good impression wherever I go. I’ve become a part of both KBeach Radio and the Union Weekly. I’ve also pitched stories to two of the school’s print publications, the Daily 49er and Union Weekly, and written stories for KBeach’s sports and news blogs. I’ve done public service announcements and learned how to edit audio, and I am also part of the Union Weekly’s sales team and recently found myself going to 2nd Street to offer our advertising services to the local businesses. You can be sure that I will be sticking around long after my internship is over.