On the 9th October, we held a summer internship panel, where upperclasswomen shared their experiences as interns in various industries, including technology, finance, government, consumer goods, non-profits and law.
Apart from giving us the low down on their day-to-day tasks, our speakers also shared with us invaluable advice on the whole process – getting the job, picking a job to how to make full use of your experience. In case you missed it, we have summarized the 10 most important tips:
- Utilize your connections – whether it’s a family friend, the W network or cold-emailing people, never be afraid to reach out to people and express your interest. Networking is key for finding internships as an underclasswoman. And remember to follow up, keep in touch and thank anyone who took the time to talk to you!
- Don’t apply to everything – it’s not worth it. Pick and choose your battles carefully; only apply to those you are really interested in, and use unconventional ways to make yourself stand out, e.g. contacting any alums working there, because there are much better things to do with your time than sending your resume and cover letter to a black hole.
- Be ultra prepared for interviews – have a coherent narrative of who you are, think about your 3 best qualities and base your answers around them, know the company you’re applying to and keep up with the news! Also not everyone knows Wellesley, so you have to highlight your own unique set of skills and what you will bring to the company.
- Don’t be afraid of hard hours – yes they might be long, but if you like the job you will be able to deal with it! Don’t let this hinder you from applying.
- Get to know the people / interns you’re working with, even if they are your competition – learn from each other, become friends, encourage each other. The people you work with makes up so much of your internship experience, better to love them than to hate them!
- Make full use of the resources your company invests in you – from crash courses in investment banking to opportunities to meet clients to company catered lunches; learn it, eat it, breathe it. It will bring exponential returns.
- Ask questions. Your boss will much, much rather you ask than if you do it wrong and redo it. You will also learn so much more.
- Even if you hate your internship, you are learning very important lessons – about the industry culture, about working with people, about what you want in an internship / job. Any position will help you in the future.
- If you can’t get an internship, ask to volunteer / shadow someone, it will increase your chances of getting an internship there in the future infinitely.
- Do something you love and have fun! Find out where your passions lie and pick an internship that best adheres to that. If you haven’t figured it out what that is yet, don’t worry – remember, this is part of the reason why you’re doing an internship!
Getting an internship as a first year or a sophomore can be an intimidating process, but hopefully our internship panel made it easier. Good luck everyone!