Preparing Yourself for an Internship

Stacie Garlieb
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Key Takeaways
​​An internship is an opportunity that helps you display your skills in a professional setting and add new skills to your resume. It gives you the experience you need in landing your dream job.

Practical work experience could separate you from other candidates in the career search process as you move from college to a career, or prepare to transition into a new career. Remember that internships are just as valuable as part-time jobs, whether they are paid or not. The key is to look for positions that will give you experience to use your current skills, and hopefully also to learn new skills. You can evaluate the internship and job opportunities by answering some questions:


  • What responsibilities will I have that are adding value to the organization?  Are there projects and/or objectives for the position that will help me t​o learn new skills?

  • Will I have an opportunity to work with a group, or independently? Can I offer my leadership skills through informally mentoring or training other people?

  • Does the organization hit my ‘Top 10 List’ of companies I would like to possibly work for?  Is the company in an industry that I am pursuing my degree or additional training in?

  • Are there events/programs that I can participate in for continued professional development and networking?  Will I meet people who I can build my LinkedIn network with for professional growth?

  • Is my supervisor or people I will be working with in position(s) that I would like to have at some point in my career?  Could they act as mentor(s) to me beyond this opportunity? 

Once you have found some positions to submit your resume for, it is important to use your communication skills from AMA to accurately and dynamically express your qualifications.  Your resume is a part of this, but the internship interview process has several steps depending on the company.  To be best prepared, remember to:

  • Update your resume and tailor it to the job you are applying for – this means including relevant information and leaving out things that are not as important. AMA experience should ALWAYS be on your resume to show your abilities in teamwork, organization, leadership, and communication.

  • Research what events/products/services/programs are most recent from the company through their social media pages.

  • Find a personal contact in the company when possible – LinkedIn® is a great resource for this and so is AMA – contact your AMA professional association to see if there is someone in the local Alumni Association who you can speak to and ask questions about the company.

  • Make sure you are ready for a phone interview with the company. Prepare answers to some key questions you think they will ask about your qualifications and where it fits, have some visual examples to share in the face-to-face interviews too.

  • Develop some questions to ask at the end of the interview – hiring managers will always give you a chance to ask questions, and saying ‘I don’t have any’ is not a good answer.

Even though every position may not be a perfect fit as the ‘job of your dreams’, evaluate the company and position objectively so it is a win-win for you and the employer and then post for it.  Preparing well will give you an advantage over the competition to present what skills you can offer and how you can add value to the organization.


Do you have a question about marketing or business and want advice from experts in the field? Get answers from some of the best CEOs, Professors, or Managers by submitting your questions to AskExpert@ama.org!


Author Bio:

Stacie Garlieb
Stacie Garlieb is the President of Successful Impressions, LLC which assists students and working professionals with career search processes and skills. For more information about the resources her company provides including helpful books and resources to guide you through building your resume and your job search, go to www.successfulimpressions.net and www.bestresumebuilder.com.
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