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Should I apply for big company internships if I don't have previous internships relating to it?

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Would it make sense to apply to somewhere like Sotheby's (art auction house) as a marketing or business development intern if I haven't done anything within the realms of art, or directly as a BD intern?

#businessdevelopment #business #internships

Hi Tanya - I always try to think about what value I can add...what special skills and qualities could I bring. Most companies want their employees to be fulfilled in their roles, but hire candidates that will bring value to the role. If you have reviewed the job description and your skills/qualities align, feel confident in applying! Lisa Black Translate
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Saman’s Answer

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Yes! You should always apply do something that you want to do because if you don't you'll be limiting yourself in the present and the future. What you can also do is try to find someone that is at Sotheby's to conduct an informational interview with so that they can help you indirectly craft your cover letter for the application. The reason I say indirectly is that you don't want to outright say can you help me with this but if you can ask a person what you think would be good questions that would help glean insights for you on how to conduct that. Fun fact about informational interviews is that most people love to talk about themselves and what they do!

Saman recommends the following next steps:

  • Find a person at Sotheby's to conduct an informational interview.
Hi Tanya, Yes! It would make total sense to apply to this internship even though you don't have prior experience in this field, although you do have to show passion and some level of knowledge in the field. Thats the whole idea behind interships. Internships help you get experience in potential industries of your choice, and they will help you decide what you want your career to be after college. Based on personal experience, one of the best ways to land an internship is to attend career fairs that your university might be hosting. Always research your target companies, and make sure to practice your "elevator pitch" to catch the recruiters attention even if you don't have the most experience. Jesus Rodriguez Translate
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Eula’s Answer

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Absolutely. Your interest in the company and product will be appreciated and if you have passion for the industry, the company and the product, your enthusiasm will be noticed.

Be willing to learn everything you can learn, ask for the position where you think you would be most helpful or have the most interest in. Do not limit yourself in any way. Learning anything will require that you like the subject.


You will acquire experience as you work with them. And from the inside you will be able to absorb the most important aspects of the industry. In 5 years you will be guiding others trying to get in.

be reliable, do everything that is asked of you and always ask questions about why somethings are done.

Just wanting to be there is enough, but you need a few more personal and character skills. Be there - Be on time and do your best.

Sothesby or any other company always need a good pair of hands and a good head.

Let me know if this helps OK?


When I wanted to be close to horses, and wanted to learn how to ride. (I was afraid at first)

All I had to do is walk into the office and ask for a job there.

In three months I was the guide and in 6 months I was able to manage the office.

Eula - Thank you for your answer. We need more advice like this, now more than ever! There are more than 1k unanswered questions on CV right now. Hoping you'll answer a few more this week! Jordan Rivera COACH Translate
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Tejas’s Answer

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Yes! My one piece of advice is to work hard to build relationships with people that can advise and educate you along the way. These mentors will help you well beyond your first interview and chances are you’ll help them learn along the way too.


Dont fall into the trap of applying online and waiting for a response. As folks stated above, you’ll distinguish yourself by putting in the time to demonstrate your genuine passion for the roles you seek.

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Laura’s Answer

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Yes, having a diverse background in your internships will be helpful wherever you find your first career move. It will help you find what you're passionate about, develop a different skill-set and diversify your professional network. It will also help you decide what you do not want to focus on long term and guide you in the right direction.

Laura recommends the following next steps:

  • Recommended first step: research things you're interested in. See what companies relate to these interests and research via career comparison portals like Indeed or Glassdoor to get insight on current/past employees.
  • Second step: don't be afraid to apply. The function of an internship is for you to learn new things. Companies that are big or small are looking for qualities as well as experience. For example, they might be looking for someone who is motivated, has a positive attitude and is eager to learn and take on new challenges. This is also a great opportunity to practice interviewing despite any outcome.
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Jessica’s Answer

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Yes, it's a great idea to apply to internships that are in your area of interest even if you do not yet have experience. Most internships are geared towards students like you who want to get started and don't have any prior experience.


I would add to the previous advice that even though you do not have experience in this field particularly, think about how you can craft your cover letter/resume and overall interview story to apply to the position. For example, you may not have any experience in business development, but say you're on the debate team. In this example, you have developed the key skills to arguing a business case, which is a key part of business development. You can take your existing experience and apply it to the skills you'd need on the internship, and convince the team that while you don't know this industry or position yet, you're uniquely qualified to learn it and learn it quickly.

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Tanner’s Answer

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Yes, always apply for what you want. It's a bit of a numbers game sometimes. Even if it's out of your league, it can't hurt.

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Laura’s Answer

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Yes. You should always apply. In the word of Wayne Gretzky "You miss 100 percent of the shots you never take."


Even if you are not successful in the end, you get the experience of practicing the application and (hopefully) interview process with the company, and you might get another opportunity to apply again in the future.

Every time you apply and interview you get valuable practice and you learn more about the job market.


Good luck!

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Gaurangi’s Answer

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Yes, definitely!

Internships are meant for students to understand and learn various aspects of the business. Never sell yourself short. You never know how things might turn out.
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Lavinia’s Answer

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Hi Tanya,

I think you should apply for an internship that you consider interesting or important for your future career (or even for your own development and learning experience). Even if you don't have previous experience in the same area, you would be surprised to see how many companies wish to get fresh views during these internships they post. And, as mentioned by other people that offered you advice, not trying is not an option for positive results.

When applying just mention why you consider yourself fit for the internship and how, not having previous experience, would still make you a great contributor (based on other experiences or education or personal interest).

Big or small, companies look for dedicated, quick learning interns - so, just Go for It! And the experience of applying is good in itself - you learn how to position yourself vis-à-vis the job you wish to get.

Lavinia


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