Quick Guide: Internships

The Search

This fall, I have been lucky enough to have the opportunity to intern with Code Pilot in downtown Austin. I’m even more lucky that this internship is allowing me to pursue, explore, and learn more about exactly what I want to do, digital marketing. Finding this internship was not easy, but now I feel like I am exactly where I was meant to be.

I began my internship hunt in July. I had an internship over the summer in Southlake, Texas, but stumbled upon it and happened to luck out. I landed it without having to apply to a lot of different internships. However, this fall was different. Normally, it is not that easy to find an internship. I applied to several internships each day and began to get discouraged when I was not hearing back from as many as I had hoped. However, I didn’t let myself get down and kept reminding myself that the internship market is very competitive. I reminded myself that filling out countless applications, cover letters, and going on numerous interviews would eventually pay off. Let me tell you, it did!

 

The Process

I found Code Pilot on Linkedin. I looked into the company and it really caught my attention. I applied to the internship and waited. A couple weeks later, Cara, the CPO and co-founder of Code Pilot reached out to me to set up a phone interview. Unlike the other phone interviews I had done, talking to Cara felt like more of a natural conversation rather than an extremely forced and rehearsed interview. After speaking with her, I definitely felt like Code Pilot would be a good fit for me.

I knew exactly what I wanted from an internship — to learn. I didn’t want to be thought of as the girl that’s around to get coffee for everyone or just sit at a desk all day doing nothing. I wanted to get hands-on experience, not just another “filler” on my resume. Since Code Pilot is a startup, I feel like I am receiving the exact experience I wanted. I am being mentored so closely and have so much help and guidance readily available whenever I need it. My focus is on digital marketing so I get to post to all of Code Pilot’s social media outlets, explore user engagement, write blogs and content, and so much more. I have so much flexibility with what I want to post and do each day, which keeps me really interested and on my toes because I am always thinking of possible next steps.

 

Work-Life Balance = Internship-School Balance

At first, I was concerned about my ability of balancing an internship and being a full-time student at the University of Texas. While it is challenging, I’ve just learned to manage my time even more carefully than before. I am also receiving such invaluable experience through this job that I could never get from any university class. After this internship, I know I will be more prepared to enter the real world and job search, which is important considering I am already a junior in college.

 

Just Do It!

My advice to anyone looking for an internship or debating whether to get an internship is do it. Don’t think twice. If you know you want to get an internship and are having trouble, don’t get discouraged. It’s so easy to start doubting yourself or feeling like you aren’t qualified enough when you’re applying to so many internships and not getting any of them. However, that is just the nature of finding internships. So many other students are in your shoes as well and probably feeling just as discouraged. Instead of giving up, push through and apply to even more, make as many connections as you can, and follow up with as many employers as possible and it will pay off. An internship is truly invaluable. It will help you figure out your career interests, determine which environment you work most productively in, provide valuable work experience, as well as set you up on a path for more internships, opportunities, and future success.