Update on Internships

LinkedIn & Internships

InternshipTutorial(1)I – LinkedIn is a great location to inquire about internships. Business Insider said it best, “It’s time to graduate from Facebook and Snapchat to using social media to find people with whom to network.”  However, you can’t passively post your profile on LI and expect offers and important connections to come flying in. You need to be active. Better yet, you need to get proactive with queries, groups and connections.

When you are proactively looking for jobs/internships it should become a part of your daily routine. At all other times, you should keep current and check-in on more of a regular basis.

There are a number of ways to use LinkedIn productively. I outline a couple of examples of how I have advised students in using LinkedIn to set up informational interviews on internships below:

When it comes to internships and jobs one way to use LinkedIn is same way you would a Google search. Just do the following:

1 – ‘Sign In’ to your LinkedIn account

2 – When you search general areas of academic interest such as, “renewable energy mechanical engineer cal poly”
You’ll see…”results = 73″

3 – From here, you can sift through the 73 results and see (i.e., based on location, company, interests, etc.) what else grabs you. Then add any other factor as a way to ‘fine tune’ and do a meta search.

4 – When you find something of interest, check out that person’s profile on LinkedIn and send them a message or an InMail.

5 – You only get to send so many InMails for free. After that you’ll need to pay for an upgrade. If this helps you, consider paying for the upgrade.

Search on a Specific Industry Project
I recently helped an Engineer MBA who was interested in working on a ground-breaking transportation project called Hyperloop. While the project originally gained credibility because of Elon Musk who runs Telsa and SpaceX, it turns out that a company was starting a test track on the project near where the student lived in Central CA. After a few inquiries, which lead to reviewing a few articles, we identified the company as Hyperloop Transportation Technologies. When we had the basic data we needed, the student circled back around and conducted a search on LinkedIn in order to identify any school alumni with connections to the project.

Cal Poly Connections
On LinkedIn we searched: “Hyperloop Transportation Technologies san luis obispo”
4 of the 5 engineers who are involved graduated from Cal Poly in SLO.

This allowed the student to set up informational interviews and gain valuable insights into the project. He also learned whom to contact about jobs and internships. This is also a good example of taking the initiative and finding a non-advertising job or internship. All of this happened without any involvement from the school.

II – The following is an excerpt on LinkedIn from Business Insider.

Article 1 of 4 misconceptions about getting a job after college.

Misconception #3 – “I posted my LinkedIn profile a year ago, so I’m all set with that.”

Not really. This is a key time in your life to be building a professional network that will last for decades.
– Make sure that your LinkedIn profile is complete, giving full descriptions of what you’ve done, skills you’ve acquired, volunteer activities in which you’ve engaged, languages in which you have fluency, and more.
– Use LinkedIn to find people with whom to conduct informational interviews to learn about what jobs are like from the inside rather than relying on your best guesses and fantasies.
– Research many profiles to learn what jobs tend to lead to what other jobs, and where people have gone who have had the initial jobs you are considering.

III – Life Hack also recently published information on an internship site that might be worth a limited amount of your time to review.

Ten million students launched their careers on InternMatch. You could too. InternMatch lists over 50,000 internships and entry-level jobs. The site allows you to find internships and entry-level jobs that match up with your interests, location, skill set, and availability.

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