Networking to Find Your Ideal Internship

Still looking for a great internship? Don’t forget to take advantage of networking. There are a variety of tools Elon Communications students have at their fingertips that could help them network to their dream internship.

Here are a few steps to follow in order to make sure that you’re networking efficiently:

1. Build a list of contacts: Make sure you use every resource that Elon has made available to you in order to meet alumni with exciting opportunities. These resources include the Elon Mentor Network, the Communications Internship Office, TGIF (Three Great Internship Fridays) this spring, and more! To learn more about these networking opportunities, visit the links provided at the end of this article.

2. Conduct an informational interview: An informational interview with a communications professional is a wonderful way to get valuable insight about an organization, the field you are pursuing, and to learn how to best apply for an internship. It’s also a great way to get your foot in the door. http://shiftingcareers.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/01/29/mastering-the-informational-interview/

3. Create an Elevator Speech: It’s important that you know how to sell yourself on a whim. Prepare a 30-60 second speech about yourself, your previous experience and your professional aspirations. You never know when you might meet someone who could help you. To learn more about how to craft an elevator speech, visit: http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/elevator-pitch.htm

4. Show Appreciation: Make sure you write a nice “Thank You” note to whatever contacts you make. It’s important to acknowledge the time that someone has taken out of her busy schedule, or to thank her if she has provided a reference/contact information.

5. Keep in Touch: Once you initially network with someone, make sure you touch base with her every once in a while. You can just drop a line or two to say hello, provide a progress update on a project or relevant experience, or check in to see how their project worked out. It’s important not to be too persistent with someone who is willing to help, but you don’t want to be a stranger, either.

Networking Tools and Resources:

Elon Mentor Network:
Network with Elon alumni who have agreed to help you connect with professionals. These alumni have asked to be contacted in order to provide advice and contacts. To access the Elon Mentor Network, visit:
https://www.myinterfase.com/elon/Account/LogOn?ReturnUrl=%2felon%2fstudent%2f

Elon Internship Database:
Make an appointment with the Communications Internship Office (112 McEwen) to access a database with the contact information to our previous internship supervisors. These are great connections! To make an appointment, visit: https://www.elon.edu/EventsMgmt/login.aspx?ReturnUrl=%2fEventsMgmt%2fevents%2feventtype.aspx%3fid%3d4&id=4. Otherwise, you can stop by with no appointment on Tuesdays from 2:10-4 p.m.

TGIF (Three Great Internship Fridays):
T.G.I.F. is an annual spring event in the Elon School of Communications. Events offered include a speed networking event, internship prep seminars, and more. Make sure you RSVP through the website to attend: http://www.elon.edu/e-net/Note.aspx?id=964394

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