There comes a time at university where many of us need to undertake an internship – whether that be voluntary or as part of course requirements. However, many people (myself included) are sometimes afraid to take the plunge and make that first call.
Here are my top five tips for taking the plunge and cold calling to land a great internship:
1. Research your prospects:
Research and make sure that you know as much as possible about the company or individual that you are looking to call and ask for an internship from. By doing this, you’ll be able to confidently talk about the place and can align your passions with their values – which will also help ease the nerves when it comes to making the call!
2. Prepare a script:
Preparing a script or statement will help you to calm and organise your thoughts ahead of the call, allowing you to absolutely ace it because your mind isn’t racing a million miles per minute. This will also help to eliminate the common mistakes many people make when cold calling.
3. Be nice:
Now this one is very much a given to whoever you end up talking to! It always helps to be nice to whoever picks up the phone because they are a person just like you and if you treat them nicely, they will give you the information that you are after.
4. Timing matters:
If you directly call the internship organiser first thing in the morning or late in the afternoon, you are more likely to reach them as these are the times working professionals are often less busy with the work in front of them, meaning that they will be able to take your call without leaving you on hold.
5. Be persistent:
Don’t give up if your first call doesn’t make it through. Be persistent and try again until you reach the person you are trying to call. The worst thing they can say is no, but sometimes it will take a couple of no’s before you succeed.
As scary as it may be, the first step is making the call. Remember that one conversation may lead to bigger and better things – but you just don’t know until you dial that number!