Internships are very crucial for any working field, it helps one take a trial of the profession, test the waters, and see if they enjoy the work given to them in that field. Internships help us decide what we want in terms of our careers. All internships are a learning curve, be it a six-day, six-week, or six-month internship. Choosing the right company to intern in shapes the internship period. Recently the batch of 2018-2023 has started their architecture internships of new students across all of India, upon speaking to some of them – here are some pointers we wish to have known before applying to various companies. 

10 Points for new students stepping into Internship - Sheet1
Internship _©

1) Punctuality | New students

It is very important and helpful to curate a schedule to help you be on track. Among a group of 60 students who applied for internships, it was noticed that those who applied two weeks in advance heard first from the firms. They had the liberty of attending various interviews and not worrying about time running out. Submitting a portfolio on time or ahead gives you the leeway of deciding which company you want to work for, instead of settling. Be it a small-scale firm or a large corporate company, applying on time makes a good impression. Most companies have a deadline set on their website, so work around that, if they don’t then it’s recommended to start applying at least 3 months before the actual start of the internship. 

10 Points for new students stepping into Internship - Sheet2
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2) Making A Solid Portfolio 

To place any sort of design or architecture internship, a portfolio showcasing your works is a must. Your portfolio is your first introduction to the company. A solid portfolio features two to three completed works of the student done during the course. Adding site, concept, plans, and renders will show the viewer your variety of works. Apart from academic work, freelance, work done during workshops or other internships can be included. This features your interest and helps you set yourself apart from the rest. Keep the best and most impressive work at the beginning. 

10 Points for new students stepping into Internship - Sheet4
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3) Application

Very often companies accept applications through email. It is easy, effective, and hassle-free. It is important to structure the email well, it is recommended to divide the email into three parts which should ideally contain a STATEMENT OF PURPOSE. Start with a small introduction of 20 to 50 words about yourself, describing your interests and strengths. Sell yourself as a potential asset to the company. Follow this with the second part of the email. Write about the company or firm you are applying to. This will imply that you know about the company and that you’re passionate about the work they do. Explain how their design principles or style is something you’re interested in learning and developing. Lastly, to conclude with regards, you can thank them for the opportunity and imply that you are expecting to hear from them. Keep it short and to the point, it should be a minute read at the max.   

4) Choosing the right office 

Apply to companies and firms that align with your interest. Find firms through google, Instagram, etc. Ask your peers and seniors for recommendations of firms. Sort firms based on their works. See what intrigues you. It is very important to choose a firm that can satiate your needs. Keep in mind that an internship is your learning period. You will either learn what you like and don’t like based on the work you do. Based on the internship experience you can decide what you would like to develop in the future. 

10 Points for new students stepping into Internship - Sheet4
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5) Going the extra mile | New students

Sometimes going the extra mile can help you secure an internship from the firm you like. You can CC your mail to the principal architect/head of the company or firm. Research architects and their works, and approach them through email or LinkedIn. In a bigger company, very often the website lists the team leads and their company contact info, mailing them directly gives you a greater chance at an internship directly under them. Contacting the company directly is a major advantage for you to see if the company’s ambience suits your comfort. Call the companies and firms you’re majorly interested in, ask them if your application has reached them, ask them what the deadline is, how many interns they recruit, make conversation, and show enthusiasm over the phone. This will at least tell you if the company is still looking for interns. Ideally, calling will let you know if you can still expect a reply or offer. 

6) Timing

A well-reputed company gets dozens of applications every day. Being patient is very important as the selection process can take months to complete. It is recommended to send the mail at the beginning of the day around 9 to 12 AM so that your email remains on the top. Scheduling your mail to a set time is the most efficient way to go around sending emails. You will be sending out a lot of emails no matter how good the portfolio is. 

7) Consistency 

Consistency is a good attribute of process, especially in the design field. It is preferable to keep your portfolio consistent, ranging from the color pattern, language used, font style, and size. Your portfolio must look connected from the first to the last page. 

8) Professionalism | New students 

Maintaining a sense of responsibility and professionalism is a standard one must set for themselves. Be it in their work, language, etc, being professional shows that you’re serious about your work. This can be achieved by using formal language in your email. Dressing your best for a walk-in interview and if it is online then having a neat background can help. 

9) Socialize 

For a profession that achieves its success based on the clientele, it is very important to network. Even if a firm has rejected your application, be polite and open to the possibility of working in the future. Grow your network, and meet like-minded people through social groups and social media. Contact previous interns through the website or LinkedIn. You can ask them how they got the internship and find out if the internship suits your needs. 

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10) Don’t Stress

Although finding an internship can be extremely stressful, stay positive and confident. The company is not doing a service by offering an internship, keep in mind that it’s a learning process for you and a job requirement for the company. 

Conclusion | New students

At the end of the day what one learns is what matters, it doesn’t matter if you did not get placed in the company you were looking forward to. Make sure you stay positive throughout it all and learn as much as possible while also having fun. Be polite, kind, and respectful. Good luck to anyone applying for an internship, You’ve got this!

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Prathi has loved the art of storytelling ever since she was little. Which is why she pursued architecture, because to her designing at its core is nothing but telling a story without the usage of words. She believes in the new age maximalism and uses that as an excuse to save all her restaurant bills in the name of memories. Prathi is a 5th year architecture student from Caad - Chennai currently doing her internship in RSP Design consultants,Bangalore.