Student's Guide to Internships

Start Early. There are several ways to find a professional experience.  They all take time to arrange a position.  Start early:  begin your search during the Fall semester for a summer internship.  Most opportunities are aimed at students finishing their sophomore or junior years; however, you can at least begin looking for future possibilities during your first year.  However, check with the Internship Coordinator in your academic department first.  Every department has specific requirements (GPA, number of credit hours, etc.) to be eligible for an internship for academic credit.  (If you do not qualify to receive academic credit for the internship, you may still research options and complete an experience related to your major.)

Contact the Internship Coordinator for your academic department.  They may have leads on past approved internships for academic credit.  The department administrative assistant can tell you who the faculty intern coordinator is.

Create a resume.  Most internship applications will include a request for a resume.

Meet with Career Development Center staff to ensure that you're exploring all of your options and get assistance with resumes, networking techniques, and interviewing skills.  In addition to providing resources on other internship possibilities, the Career Development Center provides informative workshops that will be beneficial to you as you move forward with your internship search:

  • Presenting Yourself on Paper (Resumes/Cover Letters/References)
  • Presenting Yourself in Person (Interview Workshop)
  • Private Mock Interviews (available to those who complete an Internship Workshop)
  • Job/Internship Fair Orientations

Use all available resources to get information and apply for positions. (see Career Development Center internships resources online: Internship Resources and internetresources.html)

Network. Students locate internships by cultivating relationships with:

  • Faculty - Often have a network of professionals within academia and industry.
  • Family - Find out if your parents, siblings, or other relatives know someone working in an industry or organization in which you are interested.
  • Peers - Seek out other students who have had successful internship experiences and ask for advice and contacts.
  • Alumni - Alumni- The Alumni Office maintains a searchable database of alumni that are willing to help you with your internships search www.collegecentral.com/ship/.
  • Professional Associations - Joining a professional association can help you form invaluable relationships with professionals who have experience in your areas of interest.  Student memberships are usually relatively inexpensive.

Follow up. If you have not been contacted for a reasonable amount of time after you have applied, it is acceptable to call or e-mail to let them know you are still interested in the internship. Always send thank you notes after an interview.

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