Most students attend college for one reason: to better their chances of getting a job. They adopt talent, professional habits, and establish a network in order to live a comfortable and happy life. Because the job market is so competitive and the way that employees are hired is ever-changing, internships are becoming an incredible opportunity for college students to enter a company or refine their talent.
Meet Mike Weltman: he’s a recent communications graduate from SUNY Oneonta, a college in upstate New York, and has interned at ESPN, Vh1, and ABC News. Mike’s love for broadcasting was sparked as a member of the College’s media club, The WIRE, and has been pursuing a career in the field ever since.
blog.SUNY: What is the process that you followed to secure your internships?
Mike: First and most obviously, you need to apply. You can’t get an internship if you don’t bother to apply. It doesn’t matter how big the company is. The worst thing that can happen is that you get passed over for the internship that you already didn’t have. After you apply it’s just a waiting game to see if you get an interview. The waiting is the hardest part because most companies won’t even contact you back letting you know that you didn’t get the internship. In this time you should be applying for every internship in your field. Don’t get discouraged if the internship is far away.
The way you have to look at it is you are spending a little money now to move out for your internship but in return it will help you get a job. I traveled to NYC for two different internships and spent a ton on money paying for subway and train tickets. It was worth it because those experiences helped me get a job out of college. Hopefully, you get contacted for an interview. Normally, they start you off with a phone interview and if you pass that you will be asked to come in for an in person interview. Finally, after you’re in person interview they will offer you the internship and you will finalize everything with your school’s internship department.
— State U of New York (@SUNY) May 24, 2014
What is the most important thing you did during the application process? The most crucial things are having flawless resume/emails and following up after the interview. The smallest mistakes in your resume or emails will get you thrown out. Proofread everything and have someone else take a look at your work to make sure that everything is perfect. The other thing is to send an email after your interview thanking the person that interviewed you. I HIGHLY recommend sending a hand written note thanking them for the interview.
What was the most exciting aspect of being an intern for these companies? The most exciting part of being an intern was when I was at ABC and I got to cover the Yankees/Met game at Citi Field. I was in the clubhouse and got to interview David Wright. There wasn’t really anything mundane about my internships. If I had downtime, I was always asking to go and shadow a different part of the company. I wanted to learn as much about the industry as I possibly could in the amount of time I was there.
— State U of New York (@SUNY) May 15, 2014
How has your experience as an intern at three prestigious media organizations shaped your perspective of your career path?
Interning at Vh1, ESPN and ABC defintely showed me how competitive my industry was going to be. I was told that I statistically had a better chance of being granted admission into Harvard then picked to be an ESPN intern. This motivated me to want get a job in the industry. It’s a great accomplishment knowing that you just got a job that literally millions of people would love to have.
Do you have any advice to share with SUNY students?
If you want to do something in life don’t let anyone stop you from achieving your aspirations. Also, be persistent. It may seem hard and that you are never going to accomplish what you set forth to do. However, I know how determined the students of SUNY are. You have a great support system behind you and millions of alumni that want to see you achieve and shed positive light on the SUNY name.
Here’s an incredible summary of Mike’s career so far, in large part consisting of his internship opportunities:
Are you looking for an internship? Contact your college’s career development center or find out more about SUNY Works!
Big Ideas is the Blog of The State University of New York, published by the Office of New Media.