Networking Rocks: How I Got My Internship

Sarah Schneider
9.9.2010 »
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Upon hearing news that my summer internship plans were no longer going to happen, panic began to sink in. It was the week before semester schools let out, and here I was jobless and no idea where to look. I had always planned on having an internship the summer before my senior year to experience the work world and prepare me for any ventures I may take in the future into the world of PR and marketing.

In a panic I started at square one. All of my personal connections were exhausted with the first company idea I had and so I went to the internet. Knowing I wanted to go home for the summer, I typed in anything I could think of that would find me internships in my field in Cincinnati. “Marketing firms in Cincinnati”; “Summer internships in Cincinnati”; “PR internships in Cincinnati”. I called many companies; both with internship programs and without, thinking maybe they’d like the sound of an intern and hire me. After hearing, “no, we’ve already hired our summer interns for this year,” what seemed like 1000 times, I found the ADCLUB of Cincinnati. Not even knowing who I was calling I dialed the number and fate took its toll.

The phone number I stumbled upon online led me directly to the Executive Director of AdClub Cincinnati, Judy Thompson. After saying she had already had plans to hire her summer interns upon finalizing details she asked me to tell her a little about myself; so I did. From there this summer was out of my hands it seems. Judy asked me to send her my resume and said she would follow up with me if she felt it was appropriate. A few days later I got an email from Judy, followed by a phone call. Sure enough she had hired her interns for the summer but being in the Ad business in Cincinnati she said she had a lot of connections and she wanted to put a word out about me and help me find something. After a couple phone calls of empty responses I received an email from Judy that she had heard of an internship at a local strategic design and technology firm that was looking late for a summer internship and that she had already forwarded my information to them. I was shocked to say the least that in the business world, Judy Thompson, a complete stranger to me except through a panic-driven phone call would take the time to ask me about myself and take her time to find me an internship. I received an email from Kat Jenkins at Sanger & Eby a couple days later and set up a phone interview. After discussing the logistics of what an internship at Sanger & Eby would look like, and sharing about myself, I offered to drive home to interview in person and Kat accepted. I interviewed with Kat in person and went over some more logistics and received a call later that afternoon with a job offer for the summer. Ecstatic to not be jobless for the summer and eager to gain experience I accepted the position.

You often hear of networking as a means to meeting the corporate world and establishing connections, but I was not a pro at this. I used a few simple tactics and got in with the right people and boy did I experience networking at its best! I would offer people a few hints of advice:

  1. Don’t ever hesitate to call. You may end up on the line with an Executive Director or someone simply willing to share connections.
  2. Always offer to go above and beyond (be willing to share, provide information, or go the extra mile—sometimes literally. The 2 hour drive for an in person interview seemed well worth upon being offered a job).
  3. Do your best to maintain connections you make along the way. Especially today this is so easy to do with social media, but people will be blown away by showing you appreciate their help (a personal thank you card goes a long way).

Now, I know I am only a college student and many would say I have a lot to learn; however, through putting in the extra effort I was able to navigate my way through the corporate world into the right helpful hands!

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