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Create your own internship

Jenna Johnson

You've found the perfect company for your internship in terms of accessible location, relevant industry, and excellent reputation except for one problem -- it doesn't have an internship program. Here's the solution: Create your own.

internshipscom.gifGuest blogger Colleen Sabatino, the chief content officer at has put together some step-by-step directions for a do-it-yourself internship.

Step 1: Network with family, friends, neighbors and classmates to locate an employee in that company who will help you make an initial contact. If that doesn't work, call the company and find out the name of the human resources director. If it's a small company without an HR department, find out the name of the CEO.

Step 2: Research the company thoroughly -- number of employees, hours of operation, products or services, company history and community affiliations. Then, look for common bonds between yourself and the company. Does the company sponsor a fundraising event, such as a marathon, in which you've participated? Could the company benefit from your foreign language or computer skills? Would an intern ease the workload?

Step 3: Prepare an outstanding resume to illustrate your achievements and skills. Create a cover letter addressed to the HR person or the CEO, detailing how you could add value to the company. Acknowledge that the company does not utilize interns, but you'd be honored to be its first one. Explain why you've chosen that company as an internship site and are willing to offer your skills in exchange for a career-related experience.

Step 4: In that cover letter, describe the duties that you could perform based on the company needs and your skills. For example, list the number of hours you can dedicate to the internship and the departments that would benefit the most from your services. If you've had previous internships, emphasize your knowledge on the internship process. Mention that you'll call to set up an interview, demonstrating your enthusiasm for establishing a professional relationship.

Step 5: Sell yourself as an intern at the interview. Dress according to the company dress code. Present the interviewer with a prospective internship schedule and suggested responsibilities. Draw up a check list to be used in evaluating your performance and produce a journal in which you would record your daily activities. It's up to you to provide the tools and help structure your internship. You may want to explore a virtual or online internship with the company. This option is especially effective for internships involving research.

About is an online resource for students looking to gain experience with an internship and for companies to connect with quality interns.

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By Jenna Johnson  |  May 21, 2010; 9:00 AM ET
Categories:  D.C. Interns  | Tags: Internships  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Intern tips on life in D.C.
Next: Cornell researchers: Yes, cell phone yappers are annoying


DO NOT run up and down the escalators! It's dangerous and rude. Do you really want to bump someone and cause them an injury, or fall down, and at the very least, embarrass yourself? Stand on the right, WALK on the left, do not come to a stop at the top/bottom of the escalator. That is how you use them correctly.

How about changing that tip to: "Learn to be on time without needing to rush around"? Wherever you're going, you'll get there, and it's NOT an "emergency" of any sort. Nothing you are doing is that important. Running just shows how immature you really are.

Posted by: red_hawk1968 | May 21, 2010 11:07 AM | Report abuse

I don't know why the above comment posted in the wrong place, sorry.

Posted by: red_hawk1968 | May 21, 2010 11:08 AM | Report abuse

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