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What can I do to get a summer internship with no experience

I am currently in my first year of university studying urban planning looking to gain some relevant experience this summer #internship #first-job #summer-jobs


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Fiona’s Answer

Have you considered doing some volunteering work? Even if it is unrelated to your chosen field, usually the initiative to gain experience of this sort is looked upon favourably by employers.

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Dr. Barry’s Answer

Hi Isha G.

I hear this conversation every day because my spouse is a recruiter. One thing that you should do is see if the company that you are interested in are in fact recruiting for first-year college students for their summer internship positions. Please make sure that your resume is very neat and clear in communicating your goals and what you bring to the table.

Please include your GPA average so the recruiter can see how committed you are to excellence. Please make sure that you when you interview practice with a peer on various questions and you should do just fine.

I hope this helps. If you have any other questions, please don't hesitate to respond.

Have a great day!!!

Dr. Barry Leath

Thank you for the advice!! Isha G.

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Arianna’s Answer

Hi Isha,

The previous answer is sound advice. To add a bit more, urban planning is filled with creatives, so making your application stand out would be extremely beneficial. “Branding” yourself is another way to put it. Use layout programs (like InDesign) and make your application materials cohesive. Urban Planners communicate visually a lot of the time, so show them your skills through your application. Good luck!

Thank you! Isha G.

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Mitchell’s Answer

Hi Isha,
I always recommend to students to find which companies they want to work for. Look at jobs that they are offering and see what aligns with something you'd be interested in doing.

From the job description, see if there's a personal project you can do that shows you are passionate about the field.

For example; if the company always looks for software developers, see what skills they are looking for an build a project on that. If you are in marketing, start a Instagram page as an example that you can show off in an interview.

Volunteering with various organizations can help gain soft skills (leadership, organization,planning, project management, etc.) that employers are looking for!

Best of luck

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Blake’s Answer

Hey Isha,

I would recommend finding companies that you are interested in, and then seeing if they have internship opportunities in your field. Usually you can follow that process all online and get in touch with a recruiter.

Thanks,
Blake

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Alecia’s Answer

Someone has to open the first door - everyone had to get their first internship at one point.
Here are some ideas to help you get yours...

Alecia recommends the following next steps:

Make sure you have a LinkedIn profile - focus on awards, volunteer work, odd jobs, etc and highlight skills you developed (perseverance, hard work ethic, compassion for others, etc)
Ask your parents for connections at companies you are interested in - a referral goes a long way
Connect with recruiters on LinkedIn for companies that you are targeting
On your resume - highlight skills you have developed along the way

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Cara’s Answer

Hi Isha,

I was an urban studies major in college so I completely understand how you're feeling. The good news is that everyone starts with no experience! From my experience, internships are typically saved for upperclassmen in school. However, almost every city has an office that focuses on urban planning. To gain experience, I'd reach out to that office and see if you could volunteer and/or shadow someone. Even if it's one day a week, that's great! It's a great way to see if you're interested in that type of role in the future. Every learning experience is information about what you do or do not like.

Good luck!

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Khai’s Answer

All experiences add to your skill set. Some jobs build your hard skills (examples: accounting, design, coding, analysis...). Others build your soft skills (examples: communication, leadership, time management, perseverance...).

When you’re starting out, try to be flexible about taking different jobs. You may not get the job that’s in your field of study, but as long as you’re learning, then all jobs are relevant in contributing to your future success.

Volunteering is also a great way to build your skills and expand your network.

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Amber’s Answer

Hi Isha.

Way to be proactive!

Internships and volunteer work look great on your resume (even if they are required for coursework). Urban Planning is a huge field with focuses in community development, community health and recreation, food systems (community gardening for edibles), transportation, housing, Infrastructure, environmental health, etc.

With that in consideration, I would recommend making an ideal job bucket list of 10 organizations, pretend you are going to write them a letter highlighting why you want to work there and describe your most relevant experience and skills, determine what hands-on skills/experience you are lacking and seek an internship and/or volunteer opportunities in those areas.

Best wishes and hope this helps!

Amber

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