Howdy yall! If you are wanting to get an internship with a great firm that is friendly to Aggies, here are a few tips that might help!
- CLEAN UP YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA BEFORE YOU START!!– Before you market yourself, go on your social media and WIPE IT of anything that can be misinterpreted negatively. You can be sure that recruiters will check your social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, probably in that order). If there is a picture of you that is less than flattering, or with negative comments about people, profanity, etc…please delete it immediately!
- Get your “SELL LINE” or “ELEVATOR PITCH” about YOU Inc – When you are entering the internship market, you are embarking on a startup! The startup is YOU Inc! You are going to sell “you” to people. So, you need to get a quick SELL LINE about YOU to pass on to others and for OTHERS (see more below)!! Focus on getting a quick 2-3 sentence description of what field and type of internship you are seeking and also who you are (in one sentence). Make it easy for people to see exactly what you want and for others to help you! FYI – do you have a website that is a link that has this same language (and a good professional picture of yourself) on it? That would be very helpful.
- Don’t get hung up on having “perfect” grades! I don’t personally believe that grades are the #1 criteria. As long as you have a minimum cutoff GPA for your major classes and overall, you should be fine. I was able to get 3 internships in college with: IBM, now Raytheon and AAFES. My GPA was about 3.44 (not very stellar) but it had ZERO impact on getting the internships. In fact, I don’t think the recruiters even asked me about it! I think 3.0 might be more than enough for many internships (check with the particular job to make sure).
- Don’t rely on job fairs! – Job fairs at TAMU are very well organized! BUT, the fairs should just be ONE of the resources you use. Many students make a mistake of thinking that they can go to a job fair and walk away with an internship…and that’s all you need to do to prepare. Well, in some cases, that may work, but a smarter approach is to have a plan together well before the job fair that includes many ways to “market yourself”, not just the fair.
- Job Fair Mistake #1 and how to Correct It! – I think some folks go to the job fair and their goal is to get their resume into as many hands as possible and then that will get you 1 or even more internships. Like the formula: insert resume into job fair booth = get internship! Wrong! The key is really to meet people first!! Meet the people (recruiters) and chat with them at the job fair! Make your primary goal to remember some names and faces (and get their cards of course) and find out more about them and their company. Talk about yourself LESS and ask questions MORE! Be a friendly person that focuses on recruiters. It’s kind of like DATING, seriously! Your recruiter is your potential “job” date. When you first meet someone on a date, would it be better to find out about that person and ask questions rather than asking to marry them on the first date??? So look at the job fair as the “first date” and to make connections. Then build a “job relationship” with them!
- Do I need to become “outgoing”? – NO! You are perfect the way you are! But you do need to take initiative and start asking questions and reaching out to people. You don’t need to be sparkling in conversation. Honestly, if you have a few key questions and ask about the other person, and let your recruiter do most of the talking, you will be ahead of most other people looking for internships!
- Contact people at target firms! – Figure out the firms that you might want to work for and put them down on a list. By the way, they don’t have to be the big ones that everyone knows! A medium or small firm might actually be a better internship with a much wider range of experience. Then, start contacting them! The big firms will have an “intern recruiter”. The medium and smaller firms will have a campus recruiter or even just a person that does recruiting part time. Ask for “campus recruiter” first – just call up these firms! Tell them you are from Texas A&M and want to know about an internship. This is actually impressive to firms and recruiters when students take the initiative.
- Research firms/companies a LITTLE before you talk with recruiters! – Before you approach a firm, do just a little bit of research. Find out what their big products and services are. Go on LinkedIn and see if a friend or family has worked there or is working there and ask them about the company. This doesn’t need to be hours of research, but even 15 minutes of research can help you get a very good feel of what this company is great at and what they might need with your help.
- USE YOUR FAMILY/FRIEND NETWORK!!! Tell EVERYONE you know what you are looking for – this is where you start asking your friends, your parents, relatives and everyone what you are looking for! Give them that Elevator Pitch (2-3 sentences mentioned above) about what you are looking for and your contact info. Ask them to reach out for you and send them your Elevator Pitch to make that easy! You might also include the companies you are targeting.
- USE YOUR TAMU faculty network – There are some pretty heavy hitters at TAMU that are well respected in engineering industries! Why not ask them for internship connections? Here’s just a few! Your PROFESSORS! – Dr. Margaret Banks! (head of Engineering) – Roland Block (career center in the Zachry). – Your Advisors! – The Department Head of your Focus – Go in person and ask them for help!
- ENGINEERING CAREER FAIR Committee (SEC) – The Student Engineering Council (TAMU) does a lot of work to put on a great Engineering Career Fair. They also have the names and emails of every company that had a booth at the fair! You might reach out to them for the target companies you have in mind.
- ROLAND BLOCK – I want to emphasize this great resource. He works in the Career Center in the Zachry. He knows SOOOO many companies and is employed to help students get jobs! VERY HELPFUL individual, great man! 🙂 Reach out to his team!
- Get involved in something “people-y” – Get involved with atleast one student or volunteer org that you can talk about when you talk to recruiters. You need to have a bit of “well roundedness” as you approach recruiters to prove you know more than how to write a Python program! 🙂 They want to see a bit of people skills.
- Join these 2 groups – LinkedIn: Texas A&M Intern Network. Note: This is not an official group of Texas A&M, but an informal group. New Facebook group: Texas A&M Interns
BELOW I am including a link to all of the companies that came to the Aggie Career Fair for Engineering in Fall 2019. Start hitting these companies up!!!! GIG ’em Ags!
TAMU FALL 2019 ENGINEERING JOB FAIR COMPANIES – LINK: 2019 job fair intern companies