If you ask a student whether it’s difficult to get selected for an internship, most students will tell you that it is. In our experience, it shouldn’t be. However, the problem is that most students apply a few times, get rejected, and then give up.
Let us introduce you to Evan, a student who got selected for 16 internships and jobs in 14 countries.
His global professional journey started from an internship in China and then took him to internships and jobs in various organizations in Brazil, the US, Mauritius, Nepal, France, Georgia, India, Bahrain, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the Netherlands.
During the HeySuccess Talks, a live webinar with Evan, he shared tons of tips related to getting selected for so many internships in so many countries. Here are top five tips he shared during the webinar that you can watch in full here.
1. Do not give up!
The reason we placed this at the top is because we noticed that it is the number one reason most of students struggle to get selected for an internship. They try once or even twice, receive rejections, and then just give up and start using various excuses like ‘’I will concentrate on my studies now and do internships later’’ or ‘’I am not good enough’’.
In fact, for each of those 16 internships or jobs Evan got selected for, he received far more rejections. During the webinar, he mentions an example of all of the rejections he received when he tried to find an internship for the summer of 2016. The summer was approaching and he was one of few students among his friends at the Yale University that did not have a summer internship secured. He tried to fight his disappointments and anxiety and kept trying. By the end of April, he had been accepted to a UN internship in Vienna, and, in May, he got selected to do an internship at the Supreme Federal Court of Brazil. Evan went from being one of those helpless students without any summer plans to having one of the best summers in his life (including experiencing the Olympics 2016 in Brazil).
Also, Evan advises to never take any rejection personally because very often there are other things that may have contributed. For example, someone may have already been selected, or the person reading your application may have had a bad day.
2. Alternative ways of finding an internship.
Besides regular applications, Evan talks a lot about alternative ways of finding an internship. For example, he had a friend who was a fellow college student from Nepal. Her mother worked at a government-affiliated development project in Nepal. Evan asked his friend if she could ask her mom to accept him to do an internship. She said yes, and that was a beginning of Evan’s wonderful internship experience in Nepal. Also, Evan shared few other examples of how he utilized his university’s alumni network in finding other internships.
As you can see in that example, alternative approaches to finding an internship paired with the power of his network contributed to Evan’s success in securing his internship in Nepal. You can download both detailed guide on networking and alternative ways of finding an internship in the HeySuccess Resources.
3. Work hard on the customization of your applications
You should customize your applications to regular advertised internship positions (like those thousands of internships you find on HeySuccess.com). As Evan explained, the key here was a customization of each application. You cannot simply keep sending the same resume and cover letter to each internship. The key is to find out what the requirements are for an ideal candidate and then answer why you are that ideal candidate in your cover letter and resume in terms of your previous experience, education and career plans and interests.You can download the detailed step by step guide on writing exceptional cover letter and resume in the HeySuccess Resources.
4. Cold emailing works (if done properly).
Evan organized a significant number of all those 16 internships and jobs after he sent a cold email to a person within an organization in which he wanted to do an internship. He shared great tips on writing an effective cold emails. Firstly, make it short and very clear. Secondly, explain briefly who you are and what you want. Thirdly, why you want to do an internship there? How will both you and they benefit? Again, it’s key to make it as short as possible and customize your cold email by explaining clearly who you are and why you want to do that internship.
5. Excuses and other tips
On the webinar Evan shared a lot of other tips related to getting selected for great internships abroad, overcoming poisonous excuses, and the logistical side of interning abroad (such as finding an accommodation and new friends). We would suggest you watch the full webinar with Evan here and put everything into practice immediately.Enjoy the webinar, and, of course, the world of unlimited opportunities!