Are you applying for internship with a recommendation from your University addressed “To Whom It May Concern?” Stop it. As a University representative, your work is to support your students to thrive post your University. A brief lesson on career growth is critical. And it starts with guiding them on how to identify the ideal companies that they need to join to transform their careers.
I need Internship
A lady, about 25 years of age was introduced to me by one of our managers. “She is a student of cyber security and digital forensics. She is applying for Internship.” As a technology company, we are always looking for talent. We operate in a dynamic and competitive market place. We need great people to keep pace. So, I was happy to meet the candidate.
She walked into my office and the conversation went as follows;
My colleague: “She is from [xx] University, she is looking for an Internship opportunity here.”
Me: “Great, briefly tell me about yourself. How can we be of help”
The Lady: She did not speak. She handed to me her papers.
I started looking at the papers. An introduction letter from the University she is currently studying in her final year signed by a Professor addressed: To Whom It May Concern”, and her academic testimonial from the same University. I quickly perused through the Testimonial looking keenly at the subjects studied.
Great, I said: “So, what is encryption?”
Me: “Describe to me any three digital forensics tools you know of.”
Lady: Quiet. Then after a while, she said “Digital…. tools… like for cyber security.”
Me: “What is a use of a ‘hash value’ in cyber security?”
Lady: “I don’t know.”
Me: “Unfortunately, we cannot help you. You go to University to learn theory. You come here for Internship to apply your theory. We do not spend a lot of time teaching theory here. We need people who have theory so we help them apply it. Make sense of it. Since you do not yet have basic grasp of the theory, I suggest you go back and attend those classes. When you are ready, come back.”
We have all gone through University. In the private sector like at Summit Consulting Ltd were our stock of trade is intellectual firepower — skills and knowledge, you must know your stuff. The first thing that put me off was the fact that the candidate is not confident in herself. When you are looking for an Internship placement and have an introduction letter addressed “To Whom It May Concern.” It means you are so unfocused that you are looking for Internship in any company, just any company!!
That is bad.
The best thing is to identify top three or four preferred companies. And research about them. Then write a letter addressed just to them specifically.