Getting an Internship as an English Major?!

This post was inspired by a few things:

1) Apparently, I heard that the career counselors at a certain school laughed when they heard that my peers wanted to give them a resume to look at. Nope, not cool at all bro. 😐

2) I’ve also heard that the juniors have had problems securing internships.

So I thought that I might as well share my internship search experience and what I would’ve done differently if I had to do it again.

(whee so we got under the cut)

I actually started my internship search very late- far after the HPAP deadline. I believe I must have started in late March. This is when my friends in HPAP had started interviewing and I was like “WELP I probably should get on this”. So I started searching for internships- and then promptly panicking because most of the larger companies had closed their internship program slots in February. The biggest thing I did for my internship search for larger companies was to actually attend career fairs.

Aka, Tip #1: You probably should plan ahead and not find yourself in the situation that I did if you wanted to intern at a large company.

Also, Tip #2: Go to career fairs. Do it. Go to as many of them as you can afford to. And give out resumes. And print sufficient resumes! There is nothing worse than having insufficient resumes (20 is a good number).

By this time, I had decided that an internship at a larger company was probably not nearly going to teach me as much as an internship at a startup and so I started to narrow down my searches and make my resume more specialized for the kind of job I was trying to land. However, I was also trying to cast a wider net at the same time and I was applying for everything that sounded like I would remotely enjoy, ignoring the major requirements (if I had the skillset) and thinking about how I could use my English Degree to its best advantage. I went in with the mentality that “the worst someone could do is say no”, and I think this was the mentality that was really crucial in securing me interviews. All in all, I sent out maybe close to 25 resumes by that time.

Tip #3: Read every job posting carefully. You might have the skills if you don’t have the major- apply there anyway.

So yay, I got called down for three interviews. On the first interview, I could tell the jobs on offer was not a good fit for me and I promptly bombed the interview because I was not expecting it. The second interview was most interesting though, mainly because it was the interview that I learnt the most things about doing an interview.

Tip #4: Bring your resume with you. I was lucky I had a copy in my bag (phew) but the guy had not actually reviewed my resume. Whoops.

Tip #5: Bring writing samples if you’re handling anything remotely communicative (or a laptop to show them samples if all else fails). And they must not be creative writing samples unless you’re applying for a creative writing job. Eg. Listicles are good, something exciting about an area you definitely know about 😀

By the time I had gotten to the interview for the position I was offered, I was in a good spot having learnt all the above in the process. 🙂

(This will probably be edited)

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