I’ve been in Internship-land for the past year. Internships are pretty common among art students. Junior Synthesis is a class that prepares art students for the real world. And applying for internships is one of the requirements. Internships are a sure-fire way to gain experience and knowledge without all the pressure of a full-time job (although you might be surprised! They can be just as much work sometimes.)
Most importantly, they are a learning experience. You’re not supposed to know everything right away. Since I’ve applied to quite a few now, I thought it would be handy to share some tips with you!
- ALWAYS write and attach a cover letter, unless they specifically don’t ask for one or there is no place to attach it. Some internship applications will say you can add one “if desired”. You absolutely should!
- Don’t be afraid of the Big Bad Cover Letter. Cover letters get easier with each one you make. You can also use parts of your previous cover letters and tailor them for the next one. But remember to be authentic–don’t copy your old cover letter entirely! Also, you might seem like you’re getting a bit redundant. That’s natural, especially if you’re just starting out. Work on it until it feels right and real it aloud, maybe to some friends, to get some feedback.
- Don’t sell yourself short. It might feel awkward, but you have to emphasize your skills and strengths. If you think something is worthwhile, then it probably is! Mention it!
- Keep applying. There’s no rule that says you can only apply for one internship. Apply for as many as you can. If you get accepted to more than one, pick which one you think is the best fit.
- Have patience. This is what all your friends and family will tell you. And when they stop telling you, you have to tell yourself! You will get something. And besides, with every application it gets easier to write the next. The experience of just applying is worth it.