10 Tips to Find an Internship – Crazy Enough to Work

Below are some tips on how to find an internship.  Some are out of the box, some may be no brainers, and most are what you never thought of.  Read the following tips and try them.  Let NY Creative Interns know how it goes!

“Mom?” “Dad?” “Grandma?”
Ask your family (immediate and extended) about internship opportunities at their work or if they can pass the word to family friends.  You may not think of Thanksgiving as a networking event, but make sure you listen when Aunt Joan says that Cousin Tim is marrying a girl who works at Yahoo.

Teacher’s Pet
Why else would you be a teacher’s pet if not for certain perks?  Your professors know people, and if you are taking a class with them there is a large possibility they know people in the field you are pursuing (who woulda thunk?).  Your professors also know what your style of learning is, so they might be able to recommend what type of internship to pursue and why.

“Oh, hey buddy”
Ask your friends if they have had or have heard about any internships.  Just guessing, but one could assume you and your friends have similar interests and are proud to  show off connections.  Don’t write off people just because they aren’t in the same field as you either.  You never know if the fashion expert recently saw an amazing social media opportunity for you, the Twitter Fanatic.

Sit around or…
Check out non-profits.  If you don’t have an internship but need one head to idealist.org and search for an internship with a non-profit.  You will hands down get more work and more responsibility at a-non profit.  The larger the organization, the better.

…and keep a look out…
Search for start-ups.  They always have more work to be done and are desperate to have it done by some one eager and willing.  Not only will you get a lot of experience, but it will be sure to be a blast too.  Most start-ups are created because people want to create a different kind of company from the status quo.

Pursue something you love
Ask to intern for something you’re crazy about, whether a band, clothing line, gallery, newspaper, etc.  Not everyone has the chance to work at their ultimate job, so why not get your kicks now?  Just cold call and ask if they have any internship opportunities. If they don’t, ask if you can still be of service to them.  Chances are they’ll say yes.

Ask the most successful/accessible person you know
If there is some one you admire for their successes, there is nothing more flattering than reaching out to them.  Research their past experience and learn how they got to where they are now.  Ask for recommendations of what you should look for in an internship.  You can get some great advice, some recommendations of where to look, and if you impress them enough – maybe an internship.

Create your own internship
Success stories in this information age are almost a dime a dozen – young entrepreneurs make a fortune before the age of 25.  If you really can’t find an internship, make your own! Start a blog, a business, work on your clothing line, music, ask some one if you can design their business cards.  As long as you’re working on something that relates to what you want to do in your career, you can’t lose.  Showing you are an entrepreneur at heart does wonders.

Volunteering opportunities offer more than one would think.  They open doors when starting a new venture in your career or if you are just trying to meet similar people.  Volunteering isn’t limited to the soup kitchen; most major events and festivals need volunteers such as the Tribeca Film Festival, Pitchfork Music Festival, and Dumbo Arts Fest.  It’s definitely a great way to get through the door and put something “shiny” on your resume.  Catchafire is an organization that finds skills-based volunteering opportunities at startups and non-profits.

Use Google
Nothing is more irritating than searching for an internship and the same five keep popping up.  Don’t fall for “spammy” looking sites that post the same internship 10 times (and they are all mysteriously sales jobs).  Using an effective Google Search can do wonders.  Remember to search using quotes so you get exactly what you want (“fashion pr internship NYC”), use the “-” sign to get rid of what you definitely don’t want (sales, unpaid, etc.), and search through “blogs”.  They sometimes catch the buzz about a sweet internship before it’s even posted on the site.

About the Author

Reb Carlson has over ten years' experience in marketing while working at top agencies (360i, MKG, Wunderman Thompson, and Razorfish), tech companies (Sprinklr) and startups (Master & Dynamic). Based in Brooklyn, she recently started her own marketing consultancy called Mad Focused, a practice focused on helping working creatives and their businesses thrive.

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