Q. Can alumni from my school help me get an internship?
A. Absolutely! Alumni can certainly be most helpful to you. They are an excellent source of networking for your future. Here’s how to capitalize on those relationships:
- Research internships on internships.com to find ones that interest you. Go on those company websites and research the information, especially biographical material on officers, management team, or board of directors, to see if they are graduates of your school. You can also check your school alumni database to see if anyone works at the organization.
- Google any likely prospects to find out more about them. There may be press releases or business reports that will give you information about their education. Look around your campus to check out the names of buildings or locate plaques that list alumni donors or companies that would be possible internship sites.
- Talk to the counselors at your campus career center. They may be able to help you find the right contact at the internship of your choice. Career centers often host career fairs or lectures that involve alumni and their companies. Most alumni give precedence to undergraduates of their alma maters.
- Visit your alumni relations office on campus and pick up as many alumni publications as possible. Most alumni relations departments publish quarterly news magazines with listings of the latest career achievements of graduates. Review the listings to see if any graduates work for the companies you’ve identified as your target internship sites.
- Volunteer to work at an alumni event. Most universities hold numerous alumni events, such as Homecoming Weekend or reunions for different schools in the university. Undergraduates are always needed to lead tours or register alumni, which will give you access to their company affiliations. You’ll have the chance to meet alumni in person and follow up with your application for an internship.
- Apply for an internship in the alumni relations department, which will allow you to find out more about where alumni work. When you’re ready for a second internship, you’ll know which alum could help you get that internship. If you belong to any campus organizations, find out if any previous members are now alumni who work at companies of interest. Then network!
- Find out where the alumni from your department work. You may want to ask your professors to make the initial contact for you. Also, your professors may be connected to one of the companies that has a listing on internships.com through their consulting or other activities. Your professors can be a great help in getting you the internships that you want.