Wisdom from the 3rd Floor

Guido Ditto, the RA of the 3rd Floor, offers some tips on how to get some great internships.

There are tons of reasons to choose NYU for college, but you’ll soon find out that what will really set your experience apart from your friend’s experience at, say, the University of Kansas, are the incredible internship opportunities available in New York City.

It’s indisputable, after all, that New York is home to many of the largest and most influential companies in media, entertainment, theater, advertising and finance. (And for you indie kids, it’s rapidly becoming a hub for booming tech start-ups like Foursquare and Hashable.)

But where does one find a great internship? Well, it takes work and some smart hunting. Here are some places where you should start your search.

1. NYU CareerNet: Wasserman’s job board is a great place to find any kind of job, whether it’s babysitting, doing research for professors, or entry-level positions. But it’s also one of the first places companies will go to post an internship. Large corporations like DreamWorks and Scholastic post their internships on CareerNet knowing that they can reach a talented pool of NYU students at once, so register for CareerNet on Wasserman’s website and start searching.

2. Academic departments: Many departments or schools have a career services office that specializes in helping you get an internship. If there isn’t an office, some departments leave this responsibility to internship coordinators. Look at your department’s website to see if there’s an office for your major or ask professors who in your department is responsible for internship credit. The career services office in your department — or the administrator in charge of internship credit for your major — will e-mail students specific listings that most appropriately complement your studies; make sure you’re on their mailing lists.

3. Specialty websites and job boards: Some industries are so popular that employers may not even have to try hard to get hundreds of applications for one job. Internships at popular magazines and television shows are often hard to find because they’re “insidery” and it shows them that if you’ve found the listing, you’re the kind of curious, driven person they’re looking for. There are websites out there that make finding these jobs easier by putting together great industry-specific listings: Ed2010.com does this for journalism and Mandy.com/jobs does it for film and television. Search Google for sites like these that specialize in your field because that’s where you’ll find some of the best internships.

4. Company websites: It’s obvious, but few people I know actually think of doing this because it either takes more work, putting yourself out there, or knowing exactly what you’re looking for. Say all you want is a job at Disney. You can search for internship opportunities there by looking in the three types of places I talked about above, or you can look directly on their website. Most companies have a job board on their own website that lists available positions. Some will have a “jobs” page that simply provides an e-mail address. In the latter case, tread carefully. You want to make sure you’ve looked elsewhere for information or listings and found nothing before e-mailing to ask about available opportunities. Briefly explain your interest in their company and tell them you’d greatly appreciate more information about spring, summer or fall internships for college students. Be professional, be brief and, most importantly, don’t be afraid — this will often pay off.

Thought it’s never too early to start looking for awesome internships to build your resume, you should always keep in mind the time commitment that they’ll require. Don’t spread yourself too thin and stay focused in school; it’s better that you wait until you’re ready for an internship and until your school schedule allows you to have one than to be doing too much at once and disappoint your bosses.

And don’t hesitate to ask your RA for help. Many of us have gone through all of this already and have some additional tips we’d love to share.

Good luck out there!


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