Berklee Blogs

First-hand accounts of the Berklee experience

Tag: interviewing


Common Questions: Casting a Wide Net

The Office of Experiential Learning answers some FAQs from students who visit the office

Q: (towards the end of the semester) I’ve applied to a couple of my favorite internship sites, but I haven’t heard back from either of them. Should I start applying to others?

A: We get this question a lot, especially from students conducting the first internship search of their career. The short answer is, yes, you should be applying for more internships. More importantly, you should be applying to those other internships at the very beginning of your search, when you apply to your top choices.

Some students  start out applying for their first-choice internships, anywhere from one to five sites- and then stop. After all, they don’t want to be in the position of deciding on a second-choice site while waiting for their dream site to get back to them. Better to simply wait and see and then start applying to other sites if they don’t get in, right?


Read More

Internships: Create Your Worth

We tend to think of internships ending in a full-time job offer as something that either will or wont happen, depending on the employer’s finances and the intern’s job performance. That’s largely true, but how should an intern think about this equation?

A few weeks ago, I was reading a blog post submitted by one of our interns, Mike Cavalli. Mike is currently in the process of interning at Fuchs Audio Technology, a boutique audio equipment company and he’s pretty keen to turn it into a full time job. He’s working double-time to show his value and make that happen.

Frankly, it’s impossible to say whether that will happen or not. I, nor Mike, can jump into Fuch’s financial records and know if they’ve got the cash to hire a full-time employee. I also assume that Mike is doing a five-star job there, but again, I’m taking his word for it. When you intern, there’s just no guarantee your internship will turn into a job. Most don’t, and it’s largely dependent upon the company’s need and ability to hire you, your performance, interpersonal dynamics, etc. You shouldn’t assume to land a full-time job unless you’ve got some pretty clear indicators it’s going to head that way. But Mike’s got a very important mental concept in his mind to give himself the best shot at his goal.

If you read his post, you’ll quickly see that Mike understands that his value as an intern (and potential employee) is not static- it’s not a fixed quantity. Mike understands that his value as a worker, in the mind of his supervisor, is partly within his control. Mike gets that Fuchs may not have the cash to hire him full time. Instead of seeing his internship as something that probably won’t pay out, just a quick stop on the way to bigger and better things, Mike is asking himself, “How can I, as an intern, help this company grow to the point where not only can they afford to hire me, but can’t see themselves growing without me.

Read More

Common Questions: When Should I Follow Up with a Prospective Internship?

The Office of Experiential Learning answers some FAQs from students who visit the office

Q: The interview for my internship went great but it’s been ___ days since I’ve heard anything from them. How should I follow up with them, if at all?

So you’ve made it this far. You came into the OEL to meet with your internship coordinator, filled out all the paperwork and applied for the most interesting internships- and a few more just to be safe. You’ve interviewed with the ones that got back to you and sent them a handwritten thank-you note (right?) You feel like you rocked the interview with your top choice. And now you wait…and wait… …and start to second guess yourself. Did they like me? Should I call? The whole thing starts to feel more like following up from a first date than an internship search.

In a lot of ways, it’s sort of the same thing. You put your best face forward to convince them you’re right for the job. Your gut tells you things went well and if your gut has a good track record, you’ve probably got a decent shot. You certainly wouldn’t want to blow it by insecurely and abruptly contacting your interviewer to ask if they chose you.

It’s their decision- as the cliche “We’ll let you know…” implies. But that doesn’t mean that it’s a bad thing to check up. There’s just a few things you should keep in mind before you send an email (never a phone call):

Read More

The early bird…

Student Wei Jing Saw shares what worked for her in getting an internship.

In regards to advice for future students, start your internship search early if you want to get a good one. I put feelers out in a casual search last May for an internship this spring, sending out an inquiry to my top-choice internship. All I had wanted to know was what the procedure was in applying to this particular company but got back an email asking me to send in my résumé and cover letter. That’s where I thought it would end as it was so far in advance, but not a week later, I was in there for an interview from which I left with a “see you in January!” from my future supervisor. It really alleviated a lot of stress that I imagine a lot of students feel because I secured an internship almost a year in advance!

Read More

The Application Process and Dating: Same Concept, Different Name

I’m on my fourth trip around the internship block, so I know the scenery. But this is how it should be. While most of us are still green with inexperience, it’s time to explore companies and start-ups to really get a sense of who we are and what we want. I’ll say it outright: While we may learn hands-on career skills/information at our internship sites, I believe that what we learn most about is ourselves.

Read More

Copyright © 2020 Berklee College of Music