4 Tips for Intern Pursuit Success
By Alex Heirston, Quotes UCF
Have you signed your organization up for Intern Pursuit on March 22? Learn more: https://quotesucf.com/internpursuitregistration/
The countdown is on, as Intern Pursuit is rapidly approaching. UCF communication students are racing to update LinkedIn profiles, re-write resumes and rehearse elevator pitches. Intern Pursuit is stressful – it’s a Nicholson student’s chance to get a highly sought-after internship, and maybe even a first job. To make sure you stand out – the following are a few tips to help you walk in and out of the Pegasus Ballroom with confidence.
- Do your homework. The best medicine for pre-Pursuit anxiety is preparation. When the last Intern Pursuit rolled around I knew I wanted a writing-intensive internship, preferably paid. A few days before the event I spent a couple of hours researching and devised a plan. I started with a basic Word document and listed three things under every company attending Intern Pursuit: what internships they were potentially offering, a cool tidbit I found on their website and one question I could ask employers at the booth. I made sure that the booths I focused on were offering an internship that was going to give me the experience I wanted. The question for employers would be about anything from a case study on their homepage to something as simple as “will this give me writing experience?” Being able to say “when I looked at your website” is an automatic confidence booster and can help you stay in control of nerves.
- Take a chill pill. Walking into a room that seemingly holds your entire future is terrifying. It can be hard to stay calm when there are opportunities a few steps in every direction. As an Intern Pursuit veteran, I want to emphasize that taking a second to step away from the chaos and finding a place to catch your breath is okay. At my first Intern Pursuit, I was terrified that employers were watching my every move – they definitely weren’t. It’s okay to break away from the crowd if it means that you’re going to be more confident walking over to your dream employer’s booth.
- Bring a notebook. There’s so many new names and faces that you encounter at Intern Pursuit, and it can be hard to keep all the information in line. After visiting every one or two booths, I parked myself in a corner and jotted down a few notes about who I talked to. I wrote their name and hopefully something memorable from our conversation. Taking a mini-break between every few booths can help you remember what you talked about with each person, and make the night less of a blur.
- Follow up. No matter how dazzled employers were on the night of Intern Pursuit, you should send a follow-up email within a few days. Employers meet even more people than you do, and just sending your name and a note isn’t going to jog anyone’s memory. They are people too. By using a personal connection, you can increase your chances of response, and ultimately, an internship! If you took notes during the event, this is a great time to pull them out and reference something you and the potential employer talked about. Take care when sending the follow-up email. You caught their eye at Intern Pursuit – the follow-up is your chance to capture their heart.
This event is a great experience that forces many of us to get out of our comfort zones and in front of employers. Maybe you won’t have a great conversation with everyone you meet and that’s okay. The number-one tip, which is even more important than flossing in the bathroom beforehand, is to just be you. Be yourself at the booths, and you might just find your next internship.