How Not to Blow the Internship of Your Dreams

Anything you say can and will be used against you in the interview process.

Recently, we posted a video on How to Prepare to Find the Spring Internship of Your Dreams. In case you missed it, you definitely want to check it out to learn more about how to rock deadlines, LinkedIn, other social media, and networking.

Preparing for the one is a lot easier said than done. It takes time and is certainly worth the investment and learning experience. In addition to the ways you can be proactive about landing your dream internship – as described in the above post and in our Skillshare class – there are also ways you can use caution so as not to blow it.

The golden rule is this: protect your online reputation.

Basically, any single webpage/link about you can influence a hiring decision. You may have heard about people getting fired over the wrong tweet at the wrong time. Similarly, small statements we make everyday make up our online reputation and eventually come into play during interviews.

The days of Facebook being the only deal breaker are over. You’ve probably cleaned up those frat party photos, or at least limited them to certain networks. Yet even the seemingly mundane, like a Foursquare checkin, could potentially interfere with your dream internship offer. Not to panic, however. The following is an easy 4-part test can help you discern what is appropriate and probably not appropriate to post.

Before sharing content online, you may want to ask yourself:

  1. Does this post make me think twice? If so, you should tend *not* to post it.
  2. Is this action in line with my dream company? If not, think again.
  3. WWJD? Though, instead of Jesus, picture your hiring manager or future supervisor in Jesus’ shoes. If your behavior would make them frown – resist, resist, resist.
  4. Is there a better place to put this? Sometimes, the outlet we need to express something is not the outlet for all to see. Talk to friends or mentors instead of having questionable sentiments online.

Blogging is a particularly delicate social media instrument. Sharing work experiences and lessons learned on a personal blog is a great idea. But talking about something controversial or simply not “in line” with where you want to go can hurt you. Don’t let it. Need to vent? Consider blogging anonymously or publishing a private blog available to people you know and trust.

We are here to help. And we won’t rest until everyone lands the internship of their dreams. For more digestable tips on protecting your online reputation, see our Slideshare.


Judi Huck Tushar Khandelwal


Congrats to Tushar Khandelwal, a phenomenal NY Creative Intern.

About the Author

Judi was the mentor of NY Creative Intern Tushar Khandelwal in 2011. She is currently available for work in all areas of digital marketing, and her passion is the arts. Find her on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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