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How to approach companies for internships and entry-level jobs

I am currently doing my Masters in Development Studies and are eagerly looking for internships #research #developmentstudies #graduate #women #NGO

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Katrina’s Answer

I always recommend that you take advantage of the resources/relationships that your career center and professors have in the industry in which you are interested! Many companies partner directly with the University to recruit top talent and will do so at career fairs and/or through student organizations. As far as preparation, always ensure that you have an updated resume and that you can give a 1-minute compelling elevator pitch (what are the features, advantages, and benefits of YOU!). Companies are looking for students who are passionate about the work that they will be doing so make sure that you do your research beforehand and have a clear idea of what you really want to be pursuing.
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Raya’s Answer

The very best way is to find the people who are likely to be hiring at those companies and approach them directly. It will work better if you are able to connect at some event - a meetup or a talk. At the very least, do your homework and read about the person you are approaching so you can explain why you picked them and build a connection based on their profeesional interests.
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Atria’s Answer

Dear Nokwanda, very useful question! I would just tell you my experience as I do not feel the agency to provide advice in a very much different context and circumstances than those I experienced myself.
When I finished my development studies I started a series of voluntary experiences worlwide, moving from Europe to Africa and Latin America. Obviously I was not getting paid, but mostly all organisations provided housing and food meanwhile I worked for them. After a while I started looking for internships in bilateral agencies or International Organisations and INGO. It seemed of all them valued the fact that I had some field experiences and I had been moving around different countries and cultures. It ease the path.
Hope is helpful anyhow and that you find what you are looking for!
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Yumi’s Answer

Another option is to use LinkedIn. First research the companies that you would be interested in doing internship with. Then, you can search people who work at the companies and you can send a message to introduce yourself, request to connect and ask if the person can connect you to the right person (HR, etc) to discuss your internship.
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Sina’s Answer

That would be my advice too :)
Use LinkedIn, make sure your profile is up to date and follow the companies you are interested in. Connect with stakeholders from different companies you're interested in and check the open jobs regularly. Additionally I can recommend you to look out for career fairs for students/graduates to learn more about differenr companies or specific career events organized by companies of your choice.
Most important, don't be afraid if you don't match all the preferred requirements, apply and give it your best, never assume ;)
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Sean’s Answer

Hi Nokwanda -
Great question! My advice on seeking an internship would be to make the most use of any career fairs that may be available at your school to seek employers offering internships and use the opportunity to connect in real-time. Keep an updated resume of your school accomplishments and any prior work experience and be sure to articulate why you are seeking the internship and how you can benefit the employer (e.g. employers often want to offer internships to someone interested in being a future employee!). After making the initial connection, be sure to follow-up and continue to seek any opportunity to expand your network over time.

Hope this helps.
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