Lately, the only tips people share are how to catch Pokémon. So here are some helpful hints on something that I wish I received when I was just starting college: Tips to getting an internship at an advertising agency.
- Get involved
Just about every recruiter will say that they look for students who are involved with on- and off-campus activities related to the field. There is a club or student organization for just about everything and if there isn’t one that you’re looking for then start one! If there seems to be a lack of interest at your school you can join a club or organization at a different school. Even if you don’t attend the school it is still a great way for you to get the experience and to get a better look into an industry to see if it is truly something that might be a career for you. It also shows recruiters that you take initiative to develop your knowledge and experience beyond the classroom. At Wayne State University, where I attend, I was looking for a student organization when I found the American Advertising Federation (AAF), but unfortunately it hadn’t been active for over two years. I heard from another student there was a professor interested in getting the organization running again so I emailed him expressing my interest in helping. Today, I am the President of the AAF organization and it continues to grow.
- Ask questions
When I first started getting involved in AAF, there were plenty of alumni and professors who were more than willing to help with just about anything they could. They would give tips on recruiting for your organization, help with your resume, and get you in contact with people or contacts on the inside. From my experience, there is always someone willing to help, but you have to ask the questions. Ask your professors or career-planning counselors for advice or for information about available positions. I got my internship position at SMZ through the help of my advertising professor. No network is too big, no question is too small. Here are some questions that are a good place to start.
- Be a stalker
Be a stalker (in a non-creepy way). It’s a great time to be a college student where it’s easier than ever to get in contact with professionals in your field of interest. Thanks to LinkedIn, you can find just about anyone you want to, and then some, without having to wear a suit and tie. This is a great way to check out profiles of positions that interest you, ask questions you may need answered, and even ask to meet with them for coffee to pick their brains. It also gives professionals the opportunity to check out your profile to see what you’ve got going on. LinkedIn can be a great way to connect with someone and add them to your “who you know” list.
- Be you
Show the world your unique, brilliant personality and be yourself! Don’t lie on your resume, not even little white lies. Recruiters are magical wizards and will find out and you will not get the job. Every accomplishment, big or small, is an achievement so show it off and be proud of it. I’m not saying talk to recruiters about how many parties you attended last semester and that is why you failed Accounting 101, but be honest about who are. Don’t shy away because who you are is awesome!
Stacy Yoder, Traffic Intern