In part two of our interview with Susan L. Bauer, Senior Director of Experiential Education & Career Management, she talks about tips for searching for internships and how to ace an interview.
When MPS students are looking for summer internships, Susan recommends doing proactive research and going on Symplicity, as well as career sites to know what kind of internships are out there. “If you already have a company in mind then do research on that company and you can even use LinkedIn to find a former LIM Alumni you can communicate with to land an interview,” says Susan.
Some further advice:
- Use tutorials and databases in the Library to help you in your job search
- Schedule an appointment with the writing center. They can help you edit your cover letter and resume.
- Most importantly, don’t hesitate to consult with your career advisor.
According to Susan, it’s also a good idea to keep building your resume and “develop your self-marketing.” If you’re going through a career change, she says, think about all the tasks you’ve done in your past jobs. “You should be able to identify “transferrable skills” such as management and administrative tasks. Also, look at the verbs that are being asked for in a job description and tailor them to your resume.”
If you want to ace an interview, Susan says, it’s important to do your research. Basically, you have to “know the brand.” “What you wear and the amount of makeup you use will differ if you are interviewing for Louis Vuitton or Nylon,” she says. “Invest in a classic black dress and just accessorize depending on the company.”
When you get to the end of an interview and the potential employer asks if you have any questions for them, Susan recommends:
- Asking about something related to current events within the company. (If they recently had a new CEO, ask how the culture of the company was affected by the change.
- Asking about what inspires them to come to work every day.
- Or, asking how their career has developed while working for the company.
- Never ask about benefits or time off.
“You can also end the interview by asking what their process is for letting candidates know whether or not they’ve gotten the internship,” says Susan. Lastly, she recommends always go for a handwritten thank you note so you will be remembered. “Potential employers appreciate the effort, and if you don’t get the job, at the very least you made a good impression.”
A lot of students ask how their current internship can turn into an actual job. Susan says that when you are an intern, you must already think of yourself as an employee. “Employees don’t just ask for something to do, they find something to do. Showing this kind of initiative will be very impressive to your supervisors.” Go to the company’s events and mingle with other employees, she says. “It’s good to be friends with your fellow interns, but at the end of the day, the interns are not going to hire you.”
For more tips on landing your dream internship, come to the second MPS Internship GPS: Navigating Your Journey to a Graduate Internship workshop on March 25 at FashionOpolis from 4 pm to 5:30 pm. The next sessions are April 16 and May 7. Bonne chance!