As just one of thousands of college students in the Boston area, I consider myself lucky to have landed an internship at a startup this summer. The opportunity to intern at a startup offers a chance to work with a close-knit, passionate team while directly impacting the company’s growth. But in a city with so many innovative startups, how can you find that perfect internship? Here are 3 ideas:
1. Follow your interests
Finding the perfect internship requires that you follow your interests above all else. If you’re passionate about social gaming or geolocation, then reaching out to a cloud backup startup just because they have an internship listed on their site isn’t a wise investment of your (or their) time. You should view an internship as an extension of your personal learning—and focusing intensely on your interests will lead to a more creative and memorable experience. For me, I realized how growing a community through social media could make a brand more engaging. Promoboxx offered an exciting perspective on how recognizable brands and local retailers interact through online marketing.
2. Come bearing gifts
When time is a startup’s most limited resource, it’s your job as an internship-seeker to present a clear value proposition. If the startup has a free consumer app available, become an active user and give some feedback on the product. You should even provide examples of your past work—from a link to your blog to a Facebook app you recently hacked—which offers far better insights into your skills than any resume. On my first email with Promoboxx, I linked to my own startup and some of my prior digital media experience. As a result, the team could easily recognize what assets I could bring to the table.
3. Be genuine
The simplest piece of advice is to be genuine. A successful internship requires effort on everyone’s part. Although Promoboxx had no “Community and Social Media Intern” listing on its jobs page, I decided to shoot its CEO, Ben Carcio, a cold email. I respected his team’s vision ever since reading about how they were accepted into TechStars last year on BostInno. I was upfront with the Promoboxx team—“I have no previous brand or retail marketing experience, but I love a challenge and want to learn from your awesome team.” Often times it’s a genuine interest in helping a startup win that counts.
With these three steps in mind, you’re on your way to landing an incredible internship experience. How did you land your summer internship? Let us hear it in the comments below.
Jack McDermott is a Community and Social Media Intern at Promoboxx and student at Tufts University.