Students are ultimately responsible for finding their own internships - but there are a lot of resources available to help you. Here are some ideas on what type of job you should look for, where to find it, how to apply and receive an offer, and more.
That's a good question...which leads to even more questions. Ask yourself a few:
These questions will help you figure out what types of internships you should look for. Sit down and make a list of all your options, either on paper or in your head.
You should find a job that will propel you into your field of choice or that will help you explore options in the industry. Try to find a position as similar as possible to what you want to pursue.
If you don't know what you want to do, there are Career Exploration classes on campus that can help. Check with your advisor for options.
We recommend that you start your research two semesters in advance of the semester you'd like to work. This will give you ample time to research, prepare, apply, receive and accept an offer, and make the necessary arrangements for temporarily relocating.
Finding a company to hire you as an intern can be easy and exciting, or frustrating and time-consuming. Hopefully we can help you narrow your choices and make the experience quick and rewarding.
Networking is one of your best options. Most jobs are never posted - and remember, it's not about who you know...but who THEY know!
Also remember to check Career Navigator often for internships that have been posted by employers all over the world.
Avoid looking in classified ad sections or on job-search websites - those companies are usually not in the market for temporary help.
You should avoid organizations that require you to pay a fee to help you find an internship, or organizations that have you attend a series of workshops or conferences, after which they'll " place you" in an internship. If you are convinced that is your only option, be prepared - fees can be extremely high, and opportunities are not always what they appear to be. Some organizations simply want your money, and are not concerned with what's in your best interest.
Applying for an internship is almost like applying for any other job - as long as the hiring manager knows you are applying for an internship rather than a job. There is a difference, since an internship is generally temporary in nature.
You should have a great résumé. There are several services on campus to help you if you need help writing one, or would simply like some suggestions on how to make your résumé wow those employers. Once you've written your résumé, you can set a personal appointment to have it reviewed. Services are also available to help you understand and write great cover letters. Be sure to always have a résumé on hand, or save it on a computer that is easy to access.
The Academic Discovery Center runs several Career Workshops throughout the semester that can help you improve your job-seeking skills. Visit the Events section on Career Navigator for information on current workshop schedules.
Many companies have internship programs in place, and have you apply for positions on their corporate website. When searching their job postings, be sure to include "internship" in your search criteria. When a company has a dedicated internship program, be careful that you don't miss deadlines! For example, the summer internship program deadline for NASA is January 31st each year, and the Office of Naval Intelligence deadline is in November. Best to start your search early.
Be sure that you do not apply for a full-time permanent position without disclosing that you are seeking a temporary internship position. Most internships are full-time, 40 hours a week, for the length of a semester, or 14 weeks.
If an internship posting does not include the name of the person overseeing the program, you can address your application materials to the "hiring manager" or to someone in personnel or human resources.
Just like any other job, you should follow up and ensure that the person intended received your application and knows that you are interested. Don't bug them for a decision, though.
For companies who have internship programs with website applications, there is no real way to follow through. Check the terms of the website or application process to see if they note how you will be notified of their decision. Many companies only notify those selected, and don't correspond with you if you are not selected.