As a student looking for an internship, it’s never been easy to get your foot in the door. However, during a time where tech skills and experience are required, finding an internship proves to be fairly tricky. Add on the complications of living in a partially virtual world, finding an internship as a student can feel nearly impossible.
As a student at Georgia Tech, student internships are heavily prioritized. I have many resources such as Career Fair and CareerBuzz to connect with potential employers. Unfortunately, these resources are highly aimed at engineering and other STEM students, so these resources weren’t super helpful in my internship search.
For that reason, I turned to Google, LinkedIn, and ZipRecruiter to look for job postings. I was warned that a lot of internships for my major, Literature, Media, and Communication, would be unpaid, which is not something that most engineering students are worried about. I struggled to find internships that were in the Atlanta area or virtual and I was qualified for and fit my career goals.
My concentration is Design Communication, so I hoped to find an internship that would balance both aspects. I wanted to learn more about graphic design, social media communicating to clients, and UX. But for the most part, I found that companies were searching for one of these–rather than someone who’s interested in them all.
I also struggled with finding a job that didn’t require technical experience with software I haven’t had the opportunity to work with yet, like WordPress or InDesign. I did have experience with Photoshop and Illustrator from my visual design classes, which I found that most internships were looking for.
Ultimately, I found an internship the old-fashioned way—through a friend. My roommate told me about a previous boss of hers who was looking for a digital marketing intern in Atlanta this summer. I was immediately interested and excited about this new prospect, so I had her send over my resume. I was so excited to potentially be doing something I was actually interested in and had experience with– and they would even pay me to do it!
This year was my first time seeking out an internship, so the interviewing process was another mountain I was terrified to climb. Every interview I had was virtual, which I really enjoyed because it alleviated a lot of pressure. I was less worried about my outfit, running late, and a million other stresses that in-person interviews bring.
I learned that most companies now offer online interviews, but the format varies. Some places use SparkHire, where you have two takes to film your response to questions from the company. The other option is through video conferencing sites like Zoom, which are more similar to traditional interviews.
I was offered my first internship with Juniperus, a digital marketing agency that helps clients streamline their design, website, and social media. During my interview with Alicia, co-founder of Juniperus, we talked about my experience as a manager of Georgia Tech’s New Student and Transition Program’s social media account. We also discussed my career goals and my knowledge of different software the Juniperus team uses.
Amber Schreiner, co-founder of Juniperus, went about finding jobs the same way I did over ten years ago! She used online resources from The University of Georgia as well as LinkedIn.
“I remember being on my BlackBerry (showing my age here) while pacing around the house on phone interviews,” she said.
Amber also remembers how crushing it can feel to be denied for an internship, or worse–to never even hear back after an interview.
“I promised myself I would never ghost candidates once I was in a position to hire people. The last time we were hiring, I offered an additional Zoom meeting to review over 30 candidates’ resumes in hopes of learning more about them and seeing if I could help refer them elsewhere.”
I am extremely excited and grateful for the opportunity Juniperus has given me to jumpstart my career in digital marketing. I look forward to adding some new skills to my resume, having more experience in my field, and knowing that, even after the anxious process of job hunting, it all pays off.
I'm from Macon, Georgia and I am a rising junior at Georgia Tech where I am studying Literature, Media, and Communication with a concentration in Communication Design. I have always been passionate about writing and creativity. As a student at a STEM college, I have found a way to use my love of creativity and fascination with technology in my degree by focusing on how technology can be used to communicate. I look forward to learning more about digital communication and marketing this summer as a student intern with Juniperus!