The First Step in Locking Down Any Internship Is to Want an Internship!

At the end of my freshman year, I knew I needed to get serious about school, so I set goals to earn a GPA that I was proud of.  Since then, I have excelled in my studies.  I made sure to work diligently in my classes and spend extra time building relationships with professors.

With all of this being said, I have been fortunate enough to obtain two internships this year.  The first internship I have is with the Native American Journalist Association (NAJA).  I found this internship after receiving a fellowship with them.  This whole journey began with my googling Native American organi-zations in which I could get involved.  I stumbled across a fellowship for NAJA, and it was everything I could have asked for and more.  So, I applied, which required that I attach my resume, cover letter, personal statement, and letter of recommendation.  I was awarded the fellowship, and NAJA paid for me to travel to Anaheim, Calif. for the Excellence in Journalism Conference.  While in Anaheim, we also traveled to television stations, including ESPN.  I networked with Native journalists as well as professional journalists from around the world.

After the fellowship, my NAJA mentor encouraged me to do an internship with them to further my journalism skills and become more involved with my Native American culture. Now, I write Native American news articles and am learning more about Native communities throughout the nation.

The second internship I have had is with the Department of English at the University of Mississippi.  I work as a social media intern.  I found out about this internship through an email sent out by the English Depart-ment.  The application required applicants to attach their resume.  After I sent my application, I received an email to set up an in-person interview, and I was hired.  I collaborate with three other interns as well as two English professors to inform the Ole Miss community about literary events happening around town.

I came into both my internships with a growth mindset.  Being conscious of the fact that I am still a student, I knew that I needed to learn a great deal more.  With that in mind, I was curious and open to any ideas that my internship supervisors spewed my way.  Additionally, when I was confused, I made sure to verify everything with my supervisors.  In brief, I have learned to communicate respectively and thoughtfully. I also have learned to work hard and be proud of everything I do.  At the end of the day, an internship is to improve my skills and better myself.  So, I attempt every task, big or small, to the best of my ability. And looking back, I have grown professionally, and I am still learning!

My advice to obtain an internship will be:

  • Develop a desire to secure an internship. Internships are vital in finding any job at graduation.  They provide you with experience, and they allow you to build connections with people in your field.
  • Set goals to achieve the desired internship. Get a better GPA, work hard in classes and establish solid relationships with teachers.
  • Research internships in your field and apply. Google internships.  Think about all the locations you would love to intern at and just apply.  There is no hurt in applying, even if you think you may not get an internship.  You just might surprise yourself.

Story by Sarah Liese

Student Stories