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My Internship Process: Tonya McCarley

I started my internship search in Fall 2005. I started early because I knew my circumstances would limit my opportunities. The geographic location I could search for an internship needed to be local to Southeastern Michigan and Northwest Ohio. In November I met with Joanna Kroll to ask for tips and suggestions. My homework from her was to identify a Top 10 list of employers. She was able to give me contact information for most of these employers.

I had all of these great expectations for that list. Unfortunately, I didn’t do much with it. There was the end of classes, project due dates, the holidays. Wow, it was January already! I started my new job with Career Services then. I continued to try to contact a few of the employers on my list. I also scoured the posting to iTrack, attending employer information sessions, and placed my resume in many resume books.

I had one interview with Pfizer (#10 on my list) in late February. At the time, I felt pretty confident about my opportunity there. I didn’t hear anything from Pfizer, so I continued on with my search. I continued my search process: try to make contact with my Top 10, scour iTrack, look on company websites, and attend information sessions. For the SI Employment Information Fair, I identified another Top 10 list. I strategically stopped at those tables to discover internship opportunities. I walked away with 1 really good opportunity with the UM Public Relations and Communications for the Health System department and a few others.

By now, it’s early April. I feel like the UM PR & Comm group is going to call me, but I’m really frustrated. I thought this year’s internship search was going to be easier. Feeling sorry to myself, I complained to Joanna. She asked me if I had heard from Pfizer. I said “no, but other people have.? She asked if I had followed up with them. I said, “no.? “What are you waiting for?? she said. I sent an email that morning to the contact at Pfizer inquiring about my status. He emailed me back within 20 minutes asking for my contact number. Within the hour, he contacted me and made an offer. In addition, I notified the UM PR & Comm Group of my offer and now I have an interview with them.

The moral of the story is that finding an internship is a PROCESS. You can’t just rely on one avenue, but need to formulate a strategy using all of your resources.

Posted by mccato at April 6, 2006 03:49 PM

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