Not too late to find summer internships

Allie Hitchcock • March 29, 2017
Kaitlyn O'Rourke
Kaitlyn O’Rourke interned at KXAN, the Austin, Texas, NBC affiliate. (Courtesy Photo)

Summer internship application season is in full swing, so there’s still time to find and land yours, according to Media School career coach Lauren Little.

Little and academic adviser Kate Goldstein will host a session at 5:30 p.m. April 4 in Franklin Hall 312 to help students prepare for the search.

But you’ll need to develop strategies, such as killer resumes and ways to find openings, and you should consider taking advantage of the help available, especially Little’s services. Internships are key in finding jobs after graduation as many employers expect to see more than one listed in the “experience” part of a resume.

One way to start is to set up a meeting with Little. She said when she meets one-on-one with students, her first step is to get to know the students as individuals—their interests beyond their majors, their high school accomplishments, their student involvement outside the classroom.

“I can drive the conversation to their interests and what interests I know might be helpful on those ends,” she said.

She also asks students what they have already done in the search process. Students come in with a wide range of experiences and understanding of opportunities ahead of them, she said.

In some cases, students don’t have resumes or cover letters yet. Others just need help refining their searches and pursuing positions beyond formal internship programs that may be more prominently advertised online.

“The biggest thing I focus on for students is what I call diversifying the search. You need to look not only on job boards but also contact companies and look on company websites for postings,” she said.

That’s because companies have to pay to be on sites like, so in an industry where there’s quite a bit of a demand already, companies can net applicants by posting jobs and internships only on their own websites.

IU senior and Walter Center for Career Development peer adviser Alex Miskus echoed this advice of contacting companies and connections to stand out more personally.

Kate Halliwell
Kate Halliwell interned at IndieWire. (Courtesy photo)

“Just try to ask people you know for connections, including professors, because you never know who’s going to know someone in the field,” she said. “Especially with how amazing the new Media School is, you’re bound to find a student or a professor who has a connection to an organization that can help you.”

One student who has seen this career advising pay dividends is junior Laura Ellsworth. She worked as a media and communications intern at the Johnson Center for Innovation and Translational Research last semester and currently works as a news and media intern for IU Communications.

Ellsworth transferred to IU as a pre-Kelley student but discovered she was drawn to the qualitative and creative aspects of a major in media advertising at The Media School instead. She met with Little to better understand opportunities ahead of her with her degree.

“She was really helpful with telling me what kinds of jobs my degree could lead to,” Ellsworth said.

Little translated this into real-world possibilities.

“Lauren helped me tailor my resume,” said Ellsworth, who said she hopes to work for an advertising agency in Chicago. “And she was the one who sent out that notification about that internship over the summer, and I applied.”

Here are five of Little’s and Miskus’ top tips for internship season:

Utilize career advising opportunities at The Media School.

“Traditional career coaching, if you were to go out and hire someone now, can be upwards of $100 to $200 a session,” Little said. “So students get that paid essentially with their tuition, and they get that one-on-one treatment that they would be otherwise paying a pretty hefty price for.”

Use Career Link.

“Check Career Link through the college website,” Miskus said. The database of job postings is available at the College of Arts and Sciences Walter Center for Career Achievement website.

Personalize your applications.

“I think [some students] apply to 20 internships at a time, and they don’t really read the description or adjust their resume or cover letter that fits the description. So they’re sending the same generic information to all 20,” Miskus said. “They’re not focusing on that one company and what they can do to stand out to that one specific internship.”

Build a network.

“Networking is a key component,” Little said. “Screen writing positions right out of college, for example, don’t really exist.” It’s critical to get to know employers and connections on a personal level to stand out.

Attend “It’s Not Too Late! Find a Summer Internship.”

Little and academic adviser Kate Goldstein will lead the session at 5:30 p.m. April 4 in Franklin Hall 310. Learn about career opportunities and participate in a Q&A session with media ambassadors.