Karla and I had a great time at the Intern In Austin fair organized by @Campus2Careers and The Austin Business Journal last weekend up at the AT&T conference center on UT's campus.
Intern fairs are a lot of fun. Between the new students and the new startup companies these intern fairs become awesome flash startup incubators full of the most innovative new students on campus. As an employer at the fair, we came up with some tips for the upcomingIntern in San Marcos fair at Texas State University.
1. Bring a business card, resume or other tangible Item
I didn't even think to have a signup list when I went to Intern in Austin last week until i saw that our tablemate, BrassOvaries had made a colorful and inviting one. I had spent the morning trying to get my "Cloud printer" to not only print but print double sided with the right side up. The point is we're interviewing hundreds of awesome internship candidates in just a few hours. If you don't bring something tangible for us to take home we will forget you.
2. Make it Legible.
I admit I do not set a good example when it comes to handwriting or printing but how can I contact you if you write your email address like marks left in the sand by a gaggle of chickens. The same goes for business cards - make sure Google Docs can read them. We scan cards into Google Docs then rubber-band them with whatever event we've attended. This way if I'm looking for a particular Texas State University student I can just search Texas State.
3. If you really want to intern with a company or organization let them know.
As I was walking out of the AT&T conference Center I overheard a candidate talking on her cellphone. "yeah, they were all great but the company I really want to work for is...." I never heard the company name, but hope it was Coolhead Tech because she was one of my favorite candidates. If you have a strong "First Choice" let them know just as you did when applying for College.
4. If You don't get an Internship call around.
The Austin - San Marcos business scene is pretty cool and this gets back to last point. If you have an interest in interning with a company or organization let them know, They may have missed the Intern fair for one reason or another. Karla is a great example. She only stopped by the Intern In Austin fair for a couple of hours because her affiliated organization, ALTA is hosting Hablo Teatro tonight with playwright Barbara Colio. The play Cuerdos opens at The MACC this month. Google around town to find an organization that fits then pick up the phone or write an email to introduce yourself appropriately.
The "Intern in .." fairs put on by Campus2Careersare great opportunities for students and area businesses. Students can find great internships with local companies. Small businesses, like Coolhead Tech get to meet the brightest new students and network with other local businesses.
If you're heading to Intern in San Marcos on Saturday, use these tips to make the best of your internship. Don't forget to stop by Coolhead Tech's table - We've got a couple of great internship positions available.