This is a guest post from Lauren Porat, co-founder of UrbanInterns.com
As I was perusing the job listings on UrbanInterns.com today, I couldn’t help but note the following excerpts:
- “understand the inner workings of a start-up…”
- “24-hour turn around work during business days…”
- “As the business grows, I will be hiring [full-time]…”
Don’t all of the above sound like summer internships? Wrong. They’re all winter internships with small businesses.
Sure, it’s officially the holiday season, as verified by the number of 30% discounts that are sitting in my gmail account. But that’s the point — businesses are gearing up to finish the year strong, and they need extra sets of hands to help them do that.
So…what types of winter internships are out there? Social media, PR/marketing, blogging, and business development are the top areas we see people hiring for this winter. And this all makes perfect sense. An eMarketer report just came out indicating that small businesses are using social media to market their businesses even more than their big firm counterparts.
Social media is great for small business owners, because it’s powerfully viral and most importantly, it’s free. But not all small business owners are Twitter-savvy, which is why they’re increasingly turning to interns to help them out. PR and business development are often about pounding the pavement, and they are areas where the initial outreach can be templated – perfect for interns. And blogging builds great credibility but requires writing skills, and for many business owners, it’s better to outsource that to a talented writer.
Another great thing about a lot of these winter internships is that many are virtual. So even though you might be at home with the family, you can escape from your mother’s needling for a few hours with the excuse of “work”…and have it be the truth!
So…how to go about landing one of these jobs?
1. Time is of the essence. These jobs start now, and your help is urgently needed. Show you’re able to jump right in, and business owners will respond.
2. Be positive about the experience of working through the holidays. Business owners don’t want to hear about the family / friend time you’re missing out on to work with them. They want to hear that you’re looking for a great learning experience and are willing to put in the hours it takes, and that you have availability in your schedule for the work. Be honest with yourself about that, and if you’re not into it, don’t apply (but believe me, someone else will!)
3. Be super helpful – it’s not always about you. As much as the internship is a learning experience for you, and it will be, try to see it through the business owner’s eyes. It’s about helping to grow their business during a crucial time. You’ll probably be better in the job – and will be more likely to be asked back – if you start to see the job through the business owner’s eyes, and this starts even in the application and interview process.
Urban Interns is a national marketplace that connects small business owners with people seeking part-time jobs and internships, locally and virtually. It’s free for job-seekers to post their profiles and apply for jobs through the site. Please check us out at www.urbaninterns.com.