The Power of Face-to-Face Networking
It goes without saying that in today’s economy, finding an internship in the U.S. is tough. While many companies have frozen their recruitment of interns due to monetary constraints, I believe that there are great opportunities out there for the determined student. Here are some tips that helped get me my internship that I want to share with you.
First and foremost, be confident and relaxed. You can achieve this by looking at a mirror and reading your personal statement out loud. You may feel silly at first, but don’t be discouraged. By doing this you can practice your pronunciation and fix any mistakes that you encounter as well as build your confidence in speaking. Based on scientific research, when people get nervous, parts of their voice change, leading to their pronunciation and intonation becoming more accented and stressed while speaking. Feeling relaxed and comfortable with your voice will help potential recruiters understand you better and increase your opportunities for an internship.
The next tip is to do your research. Where do people go to find jobs? Craigslist! My suggestion is not to put a lot of time on these sites. Instead of hunting jobs on Craigslist, a better use of your time would be to check out the events that are related to your major. For instance, if I would like to work for an international technology company, I would find events related to this field being held close to school, such as the Berkeley Asia Business Conference and Monte Jade Science & Technology Association’s 20th Annual Conference. Where would you find information about these events? Some of the best sources would be the local newspaper, google, or asking your friends who work in the industry.
Attending these kinds of conferences opens up more job opportunities for you and also builds your network. I got my internship through a small conference called “China meets Silicon Valley”. It is wonderful when you are actually talking to the companies that you want to work with. The more you talk to people, the more they will become familiar with you. This familiarity will be the basis for you setting up an appointment for an internship interview.
I would like to wish everyone who is looking for an internship luck. Keep at it and never get discouraged. Who knows, your chance may be just around the corner.