In writing cover letters, it’s always important to be original and be yourself. Here is a quick guide on how to write a cover letter for your applications this summer!
In grade school, we were taught how to write a business letter. Put that to good use! Full date written at the top of the paper, company’s name and address and of course, your address. You can also include your e-mail or telephone number so that they will know how to contact you.
An internship is an amazing way to prepare one’s self for the “real world” and by real world, I mean, work. It will give you an idea of what it will be like after you graduate. lt is a place to hone your talents and also, a place that you surely will acquire unforgettable experiences and lessons which you can apply to your everyday life. It is a great way to discipline yourself. It will help you become more responsible and independent in so many ways. Having experience as an intern will give you more advantages in the work force and can probably even change your life. (I know it changed mine.)
Last year, I was thankfully offered two internships in two magazines (1, 2) and a design store. Through my stay in both companies, I have acquired much “knowledge” as to what one is and is not supposed to do for a successful internship. I am not a perfect intern, if there is even such a creature. I have screwed up (a lot) and have also conquered many things I never thought I was capable of doing so I am listing down some useful tips some of my readers can possibly benefit from (especially if they plan to get or already have an internship waiting for them).
- Before anything else, if money is your main goal for an internship, then you are immediately screwed.
It’s not a terrible thing to want to earn money, true, but a lot of internships/on-the-job training don’t offer money, believe me. It sure is great to have extrinsic motivation to be able to finish a task, because you know you’re getting paid, but you (we) are young and are still learning. I believe the perfect thing to motivate you is to keep in mind that you are learning so much about the real world, meeting a lot of people and experiencing many things you usually don’t, if not for your internship. Also, if you keep the “money factor” a key player and a major element in your internship, it will allow you to act and make decisions only because of it. If you don’t get paid, you will be dreading the internship from the very start. You are young and learning. There will be money soon enough. And it will come too, because of your internship experience, don’t worry.
- Be prepared to be very exhausted.
You are at the bottom of the pyramid. Keep that in mind. This means that you will be doing very many things, even if it is in your job description or not, that will require you to do a lot of work. If you work for a company, you will probably have more than one boss and even if you do have one, other people on the top of the pyramid wil be asking you to do things for them.
- It will bring out both your best and worst traits.
I remember when I was still working as an intern for the magazine, I would go home at 10 in the evening and I would be terribly exhausted from all the work load. I would still do my homework and if anybody ever tried to make me do something or interrupted me, I would immediately snap at them. I was so cranky and impatient because I was so tired and I just wanted to sleep but I could not. I would also skip many meals because we were always on the road or I would be in different places helping out with pull-outs, returns and shoots which obviously was very unhealthy. On the other hand, I was very, very polite and helpful with my bosses and colleagues. I was also unusually very hard-working, it scared me. What I’m saying is, this sudden change of “lifestyle” will affect your behavior. I’m not kidding.
- It will be difficult to balance an internship with…other things.
If you plan on balancing an internship with academics, good luck with that. I am telling you, it won’t be easy. Maybe we are all programmed differently and some can do better than me but know that an internship will take a lot of your time. Your internship will also not end after you get out of the office because you will still be doing work-related things after.
Also, there was a point in time wherein I found work so much more appealing than school and I just wanted to work forever so my mindset actually had a very huge impact on my projects and exams. There were also very many times wherein I passed my design projects just for the sake of passing them, never really doing my best, because I didn’t have time to practice and do more work. That was my fault since I knew that I would be balancing these two things together, albeit doing a very bad job at it. I had (and still am having) a very hard time keeping up with my course mates because I focused too much on work and my internships.
- It’s okay to make mistakes.
I remember hearing this from one of my professors when he found out that I got an internship. I was very intimidated by the people in the office and was so scared that I would make mistakes but when he said this, I felt a million times better. I’m not saying keep making mistakes but I’m saying you can, because you’re still learning. It’s okay to screw up once in awhile because you learn what you’re supposed to really work on.
- Don’t wait. Initiate.
I remember screwing up (big time) three times during my magazine internship. I won’t go into detail because it’s too complicated but one of my bosses talked to me and told me one of the greatest things I’ll never forget, “People won’t always spoonfeed you.” When you grow up, not everyone’s going to keep on telling you what to do, especially in this kind of environment.
Don’t wait for things to be asked for you to be done. If you want a pat on the back, look for things that can be done and are just screaming out for someone to finish it, and do it. Your bosses are going to love your enthusiasm, responsibility and your initiative. Trust me.
- Queries are always welcome. Listen. Pay attention.
I screwed up one time. I had to return some clothes to a store in Makati and when I went there, turns out, my other boss wanted for me to return some other things in the same store so I wasted her time, gave her a pretty bad headache and I felt terrible because I hate disappointing people. After that, I would have a notebook and pen with me everywhere I go instead of just jotting down drafts on my phone. I would also ask when I was not sure. It’s better to ask and disturb your boss than actually disappoint her for not making sure that this particular thing had to be done. I never screwed up after that.
- Don’t be afraid to suggest, give your opinion on something or show them your strengths and talents.
Sure, you are (just) an intern but remember that they chose you for a reason.
I remember… It was the same time like this, just last year.