How can I get an internship after my freshman year?

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November 6, 2015 by texasbbacareerservices

startWe’ve seen more freshmen coming into BBA Career Services ready for their first internship after freshman year. Here are 6 tips on where to start!

  1. Volunteer and attend events this Spring 2016 (Registration opening in OCR soon): We encourage freshmen to volunteer and attend the Undergraduate Career Expo, Career Week events (Career Week Sneak Peek, Employer Panels, BBA Women’s Breakfast, McCombs Diversity Dinner, BBA Corporate Mock Interviews), information sessions, and other recruiting events. Also, watch out for our BBA Etiquette Dinner, BBA Women’s Council Leadership Symposium and BBA Career Connection events! Employers are doing more case interview prep workshops and case competitions and these are also great opportunities to gain skills and network in a learning environment. Student organizations are also a great way to connect with employers and fellow BBAs while exploring your interests.

    Pro Tip: Employers track the students that attend their events. They want to see you at more than one event; make sure you have multiple touch points with an employer and put a face to your resume!

I’ve never gone to a recruiting event; what do I do?big suit

  • Volunteering at the Expo allows you to see how the event works and talk to employers through simply helping them per your volunteer duties. Also, Career Week events are designed to create a more personal atmosphere where you’ll talk with employers in small groups or in a more one-on-one advice atmosphere (mock interviews). You can also attend events like the Employer Panels where you can just be an observer and soak up information and advice while you build up confidence to network.

Pro Tip: When attending an event where an employer will be present it’s a good rule of thumb to dress business casual. UNLESS, there are directions that state business professional or casual. Check out our Business Attire guide.

2. Apply for Leadership Programs on our website: Employers often times create these programs to recruit interns.

What if it’s just fluff? Are leadership programs a good use of my time?

  • Yes! This is an opportunity to network with employers, whether or not the workshop is full of mind-blowing information, you can still take advantage of the opportunity to make connections.

    Pro Tip: You get what you put in; prepare yourself to take full advantage of the opportunity and you’ll have a great experience!

3. Network and make connections: You’ve heard “it’s who you know”, well it’s true. Especially when you’re trying to get an internship after your freshman year.

How do I approach someone I don’t even know?

  • Introduce yourself to company reps, give them a firm handshake, tell them about your interests and ask about their career path. People love telling their personal story; networking is a lot about being a good listener, you don’t want to just talk about yourself. And most important, get their business card and send a follow up email to thank them for the insight they shared with you. Check out our Job Search Correspondence guide, Networking Strategies guide, Company Research guide and our company research online resources.  It helps to know about the company when approaching to start conversation. You can also use these resources to search for companies by city and industry; maybe you’ll find a cool company in your hometown to visit over break!

    Pro Tip: Don’t just build a network; maintain it. Check out our BBA Peer Insights blog on “Building and Maintaining Your Network”.

4. Use LinkedIn: Take all the business cards you collected and connect with your new contacts via LinkedIn as well; BUT don’t just send a blank request (see below). You can also connect with McCombs BBA alumni through LinkedIn and request informational interviews; this is a great way to build your network and make connections for future internships. AND don’t forget to connect with your fellow BBAs; you will all go on to do great things-connect now while you really know each other! We have a BBA Career Services Student, Employer, and Alumni LinkedIn Group; join today! Also, watch out for our BBA Career Services’ LinkedIn workshops in the spring.

linkedinscreen shotHow do I request a connection?

  • When you “Connect”, make sure to include a “Personal Note”. The max length is 300 characters so keep it short and sweet! Remind your connection how you met and include a nugget from your conversation to spark their memory. Then just thank them in advance for connecting!

    Pro Tip: You can send a message to people that are in the same LinkedIn Group as you even when you’re not yet connected. You’ll have more room to write a nice message when reaching out to connect; you’ll still need to send a “Connect” request as well!

Wait, I don’t have my profile created! How do I create a LinkedIn Profile?

  • LinkedIn actually has a website just for college students. Use this awesome Student Profile Check List to make sure you’ve got all the components of a great LinkedIn AND make sure you have a professional photo. You can stop by any day in your suit and one of our team members will take your photo!

    Pro Tip: Check out the skills and career paths of people in the jobs you want one day. You can work on those skills so you can add them to your skill list too!

5. Expand your internship posting search: Check out jobs on McCombs Job Board and company sites in addition to OCR. Also connect with local Austin companies (including start-ups and nonprofits). Open your mind, cast your net wide and you’ll multiply your opportunities!


What do I need to apply to internships?

  • Remember to utilize the BBA Resume Template.  BBA students are required to use the BBA Resume format when applying to postings in OCR. Also, check out our Resume Writing guide and Job Search Correspondence guide (cover letter and follow up guidance).

    Pro Tip: Rejection happens; sometimes it takes rejectionapplying to 50+ internships before you land that ONE interview. It could also take 5 interviews to land that ONE internship. All of this experience helps you polish your approach and makes you even more prepared to put your best foot forward; keep applying and interviewing and keep moving forward!

6. We’re here to help! Make an appointment with a Career Coach or come into walk-in hours with a Career Coach or Peer Coach. Also, our BBACS programs: Target Your Future, BBA Women’s Council, McCombs Diversity Council, and Career Shadowing Program are great ways to connect with employers in a mentor/safe environment and learn about opportunities.

Pro Tip: BBA Career Services’ Peer Coaches are fellow BBA students going through the same stuff, not only are they trained to help you with resume and cover letter reviews, they can and want to share their personal experiences (successes and failures).

Have an awesome winter break; check out our BBA Peer Insights Underclassmen Edition blog on “Utilizing Thanksgiving and Winter Breaks to Strengthen Your Career Search” (ADD LINK WHEN POSTED) to help you get ready for this spring.

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