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One of the first things Howard University is known for is preparing its students for the professional world. As a Freshman in college, finding field experience may seem overwhelming. The professional realm is more competitive than ever, with many students pursuing internship opportunities earlier on. Finding an internship is not always easy, but if you follow these steps, you will be sure to succeed.

Searching for the Internship:

1. Fine tune your resume


You do not always have to be the most qualified applicant in order to secure the job. The most important thing is that your skills and experiences on your resume reflect the internship description. It’s all about how you are able to relate your involvement and leadership roles on campus to the qualities the company is looking for.

2. The Career Center is your friend


Make sure you are taking advantage of the resources available on campus. Howard University has a center that provides students with interviewing tips, resume writing workshops and information on upcoming career fairs.

3. Network


Network, network, network!!! Networking is a great way to find out about internship opportunities. Ask your peers, professors and advisors if they know of opportunities. They may know people with openings.

4. Get the look


First impressions are everything! When the opportunity presents itself you want to make sure you look the part. Any time you come face to face with a future employer you want to make sure you are dressed professionally.

5. Have a valuable reference


Relationships are extremely important in the professional realm. You should maintain positive relationships with your professors, advisors and organization leaders so they will be willing to write you amazing letters of recommendation.

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Securing the internship:

6. Know your strengths and weaknesses


Before you go into your interview know what set you apart from other candidates. Make a list of the things you do exceptionally well and how it can help the company. Also be aware of the areas that you are lacking in and ways you can improve.

7. Research and study the company before hand


Your interview is not the time to dig for information about the company. Yes — it is okay to have questions in the interview, but you should have a good idea of how the company operates and what they stand for.

8. Let your passion show


Passion plays over well to interviewers. You may not be the most qualified candidate but if you are able to express what the industry and opportunity means to you it may play in your favor.

9. Have a strong follow up game


It is never a bad idea to check in on your application. A great way to follow up is by sending hand-written thank you notes. In today’s world it can seem rare to write something out by hand because emails are so convenient. Handwritten notes and letter tend to linger on desks, whereas emails get lost or deleted.

10.  Maintain your online accounts

As you secure jobs and internships its important to make sure your online career accounts stay updated. Make sure your social media and LinkedIn accounts accurately portray your professional life.

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