Hi Ellen Reeves. Its great to have you here. I am confused regarding how to go about the internship process. From personal experience, I feel that applying directly on company websites or forwarding my resume to their common career portal emails is of no use. If one does not have a contact or a network within the firm, is it better to forward my resume through a recruiter? On the other hand, the recruiter would extract his fee and hence firms would avoid hiring the recuiter's candidate. The process seems so ambivalent.
Faisal, my whole mantra is "stop looking for a job/internship and start looking for a person. The right person will lead you to the right job or opportunity." Applying blindly I feel is less effective than targeting specific jobs and companies and then using alumni and other community contacts and social media to get inside the company, to have informational interviews, and get your name and resume circulated from inside. It takes work but you can usually find someone to connect you. Use Linked-in and Facebook to post a note asking if anyone knows ANYONE at a company you're interested in or where you're applying, and ignore geography; for example, someone in the West Coast office of a company is likely to have some contacts in the East Coast office. Has anyone had positive/negative experiences with recruiters you'd like to share?