You can count on lots of help in searching for your next internship. But the impetus has to come from you. Getting a good internship is a competitive process, so it’s never too early to start networking.
Here are our top 5 tips for how to search for your spring or summer internships:
- Attend career fairs. Your campus probably sponsors numerous career fairs year-long. So get your resume updated and dust off your business casual clothes. Sign up early and research the companies in which you are interested. Approach your top choices first and have a 30-second introduction ready as to what you bring to the table. Do take notes, write thank-you letters, and follow-up for internships.
- Visit the career center. Be a frequent visitor to the career center, asking for help in updating your resume. Attend the many workshops and read the center’s updates and newsletters. Make sure that you know the counselors by name and that they all know what internships interest you. If you have your sights set on a specific company, ask the career center to contact the company to explore internship opportunities. You could also volunteer to help out with special events at the center.
- Talk to other students. Develop contacts with former and current interns, learning about their internships and what they liked and disliked about the companies. Don’t hesitate to ask a current intern to recommend you as his/her successor. And be sure to find out as much as possible about the internship supervisor, so you’ll know what to talk about during an interview. Explore the possibility of virtual internships by talking with other students who may have experience in this growing field.
- Search internships.com. As the world’s largest internship site, internships.com has something for everyone. You can zone in on any internship by specifying location, company, paid or unpaid, credit, time period, and responsibilities. The site also offers special programs that predict what internships are best for you and how to improve your ability to perform. You can read intern blogs and access coaching services.
- Create your own internship. If you still can’t find the internship of your dreams, create one. Research the company and internship that you want and then approach the company with a proposal, listing your abilities and explaining the value that you bring to the company. You can also ask for an informational interview as a means to get your foot in the door. Another approach is to offer to do a virtual internship, working on a special project for the company.