How I Used Instagram to Land My Dream Internship

Everybody uses social media in some capacity. Just look around you; whether it’s your parents trying to maneuver their way through Facebook, your favorite clothing brand on Instagram, or your friends on Twitter, we are all connected online in some way.

This connection is amazing, and allows us to interact with our friends, family, brands, and influencers in ways that were once unimaginable. However, we often fail to realize the impact these social channels can have if we go about using them in the right way.

FindSpark phone

Photo courtesy of Jhaymesisviphotography

My story is an interesting one, but is definitely less uncommon in the growing digital landscape that exists today. I was a fan of restaurant review website The Infatuation for about a year. I followed them on Instagram, I actively participated in their #EEEEEATS hashtag, and I interacted with friends about the Infatuation community.

I quickly came to rely on their restaurant reviews as my go-to resource for any recommendations. One day while browsing their website (which was a typical activity), I noticed they had a careers page, where they posted that they were offering an internship for the following semester.

At the time, I was working at an advertising agency, and I loved my job. But I knew that an opportunity at small and very quickly growing company, and one that I was a huge fan of, was an opportunity that I should not pass up. I knew that I would regret it if I didn’t at least apply and see what potential existed.

I sent in a cover letter and resume, but I tried to tailor my tone of voice via email to their writing style, which is very witty and sarcastic. I expressed my interest in working with the company, why I thought I would be a good fit, and attached my resume with some of my previous experiences to back up my application.

FindSpark Social Media

Photo courtesy of Khalid Albaih

I was lucky enough to get an interview to meet the team in person. When I went into the office to chat with the team, I almost felt like I was meeting celebrities. I quickly realized how normal these people were, and I felt like the working environment was one I could thrive in.

Something in particular that really struck me in my interview was that a few of the team members mentioned that they recognized my name from Instagram. How could a community that is made up of almost 200,000 Instagram followers, and over 500,000 tagged Instagram photos, possibly know who I was? That was insane to me. Clearly some aspect of my social media presence played a part in that recognition.

A few weeks later I got an email that I got the job; I was obviously ecstatic. It was a pretty seamless process, and I’m definitely lucky for things to have worked out they way that they did. I’ve been an intern now for almost 2 months, and I feel like a very valued part of the team. It’s been great experience and I am so excited for what’s ahead. I think this company really knows what they want to be, and they have great ideas about how to get there. 2015 is going to be big.

Social media definitely played a part in helping me to get this internship. However, I have to give myself some credit as well, because although having an involved social media presence was crucial in this process, my hard work and enthusiasm for the brand is definitely the most important part.

What do you think about the power of social media? Have you had similar experiences? Let us know in the comments.

About the Author

Jackie Widmann is a senior at NYU, studying Media, Culture, and Communciations. She is also a Campus Ambassador @FindSpark. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @jackiewidmann.

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