How to get internships: Responding to fan mail

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Humor columnist Katie McCracken breaks down how to get an internship when you’re not actually qualified.

Nick Zugris | Cavalier Daily


Dear Katie,

How do I get companies to offer me internships when I have no real marketable skills? I don’t even know how do laundry with anything but Tide Pods, let alone know how to write a cover letter! I’m hopeless!

Signed,

Waboohoowa :’-(

Dear Waboohoowa :’-(,

First off, believe me when I say, you are not alone. U.Va. is a cacophony of students running around, trying to look professional through the haze of their Tuesday morning hangover. But listen — so is the business world. Haven’t you ever seen “Wolf of Wall Street?” There’s a reason so many frat guys have Jordan Belfort on their vision board. If you follow my guidance, you’ll be making copies and fetching coffee in no time.

1. Applying

When you’re applying for internships, the more the merrier! Go on Handshake, LinkedIn — heck just Google any company you’ve ever heard of. The more jobs you apply to, the better your odds. Ignore the parts about suggested major or required skills. You’ll learn them on the job. Besides, by the time they find out you lied your way through the process, it will be way more work to find someone to replace you. Count on the recruiter being lazy.

2. Dress to impress

“Dress for the job you want, not the job you have.” 

- Someone who knew what the heck they were talking about.

Go to the store. Preferably, an old person store so they know you’re a serious adult. For guys, I recommend picking up a bow tie and a jacket. Not just any jacket, however, a motherflipping tweed jacket. You need to channel the vibes of a baby boomer who also has no real marketable skills, but refuses to retire and free up a job. For girls, just find the most unflattering dress pants and blouse combo possible. Absolutely do NOT wear a skirt! You have to be prepared in case your interviewer is a male. From my experience, most men can’t comprehend that women can be interested in “girly” things like fashion and also kick booty in the workplace. So until every man is forced to watch “Legally Blonde,it’s best if we just trick them by conforming to their narrow world views. 

3. In the interview

Have you ever heard the phrase, “Fake it until you make it?” Well I’m here to say lie until you freaking die. If they ask about a computer program, you know it. If they ask about experience, you have it. Imagine that you’re taking an improv class and your character is the perfect job candidate. Don’t let them trip you up, and whatever you do, stay in character. Your future depends on this performance.

Finally, there comes a point in every interview when they ask you if you have any questions. This, in itself, is a trick question. You need to ask about two things. First — benefits. You’re applying to be an intern, most likely, so there probably are none, but it makes you sound like a grown up. Second, ask about the company culture. No one actually knows what this means, but it’s a great buzzword that will make them think you know a lot about the business world. If they try to explain it, just nod your head and smile, maybe throw in a “that sounds great!” They’re probably struggling to sound like they know what they’re talking about, so it would be nice to help them out a bit.

And hey, if none of these tips work, just send the recruiter a flirty thank you message on LinkedIn. You’re at least guaranteed a second round interview.

Katie McCracken is a Humor Columnist at The Cavalier Daily. She can be reached at humor@cavalierdaily.com.

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