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Five Tips for Finding an Internship

How to Find an Internship
By Penny Loretto,

The steps for finding and securing an internship include: identifying the type and location of the internship, researching opportunities in that field and location, applying, interviewing, and getting accepted. Finding an internship by prospecting permits students to find unadvertised opportunities as well as prospective internships with smaller organizations or within a smaller community.

1. Determine Type and Location of Internship

  1. A good place to begin identifying career options is by doing research or contacting a career counselor at your college.
  2. Choose one or more geographic locations where you'd like to intern for the summer and research internship options available in those areas.
  3. Develop a plan and identify when you are able to begin the internship.

2. Research Internship Opportunities and List Top Priorities

  1. Meet with a career counselor at your college.
  2. Begin looking for internships by searching online, checking out career sections of employer websites, and contacting employers of interest.
  3. Network with family, friends, faculty, alumni and professionals in the field.
  4. Check with the local Chamber of Commerce as well as the Classified Ads in the local newspaper.

3. The Application Process

  1.  Begin the application process by applying to all internships of interest.
  2. Contact a career counselor to assist in preparing your resume and cover letter.
  3. Identifying key skills and accomplishments.
  4. Apply for all internships of interest.
  5. Follow up with all employers.

4. The Interviewing Process

  1. Review company websites and make an appointment with a career counselor to review possible interview questions and/or to arrange to do a mock interview.
  2. Practice, practice, practice.
  3. Ensure that you have appropriate interviewing attire. Depending on the organization and type of business this can range from a business suit to a nice skirt or pair of slacks and a dress shirt or blouse.
  4. Be conscious of nonverbal behavior.
  5. Follow up each interview immediately with a thank you note.

5. Acceptance and Preparation

  1. Accepting the internship and preparing yourself to start is the last step of the process.
  2. Accept the internship both verbally and in writing.
  3. Ask the organization or your direct supervisor if there is anything you can do to prepare prior to starting.
  4. Learn all you can about the organization by reading their website.
  5. Contact the organization and check on appropriate dress attire.
  6. Make final preparation on any living or travel arrangements.
  7. Show up well rested and dressed professionally.
  8. Inquire about work hours and length of lunch and breaks to avoid potential future misunderstandings.
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