by Anjelica Dudek
Wayne State has scheduled the 2016 Journalism Day Internship Fair for Wednesday, October 16. This fair is an excellent opportunity for upperclassmen students to see all the communication-related internships available within the next year in metro Detroit.
(Though I will be referring to WSU’s Journalism Day Internship Fair, I believe these tips can apply to any internship networking opportunities.)
Before The Event: Lay Out Your Outfit & Prepare Your Portfolio.
Last year’s fair was my first ever since transferring from Oakland Community College. I had no idea about this event until my professor briefly mentioned it just an hour beforehand! Luckily, I wore an outfit that was almost business-casual, and had resources to print resumes before arriving at the event. But do not let this happen to you!
I highly recommend dressing at least business casual for the event. Lay out your outfit the night before so there is less stress in the morning with one less thing to do. Show these employers how you can dress the part.
Secondly, creating a portfolio to hand employers is essential to your internship and job-hunting success. These employers will not know who you are, so you need to show them! When I create my communications-related portfolio, I paperclip together a one-page resume, up to three writing pieces* and a business card. Let your resume and writing pieces do the talking for you and your success–especially during this time-sensitive event.
If you have never created a resume, or simply want tips on how to update yours, I recommend this blogger’s resume “checklist.”
*Writing pieces can include your articles from the school newspaper, press releases from past internships or class assignments, or even material you have written for WSU PRSSA!
During The Event: Plan Out Your Tables & Be Yourself–But Make It Quick!
Last year’s fair felt like speed dating to me. There are MANY employers to talk to and very little time to do so! Having that portfolio prepared will help make the conversation go much quicker so you can hit up more tables. But of course, do not rush the conversation-especially if you feel like it is going well!
At last year’s event, I was stunned to see how many students gathered at only a few tables and left many other tables completely empty! If there is a specific employer you want to talk to, make sure to see them, but do not spend all your time waiting to speak to them! Chat up another employer’s table while you are waiting. There are a lot of great companies out there and it is great to have a backup plan. You never know where that extra conversation could lead you!
After The Event: Research, Follow Up & Apply For That Internship!
There were some employers who I had never heard of until the fair. If you feel interested to learn more about them, it does not hurt to do further research on the company.
If you impressed an employer so much that you received their business card, remember to email them your appreciation for meeting them. I would also reattach your resume and a writing piece, just to remind them again of who you are.
And finally, especially if the application process is online, apply for that internship!
Good luck, internship hunters!
Anjelica Dudek is the 2016-17 Digital Content Director for Wayne State PRSSA. Graduating in December 2017, she is looking forward to gaining career experience in the PR field. In her free time, Anjelica enjoys window shopping and napping.