Thinking about doing an internship, but not sure where to start?
Before you start looking, there are things to consider:
- Are you planning to get academic credit for your internship? Start looking at least a quarter before. Internships must be lined up before the quarter starts. You need approval from your academic department prior to starting your internship.
- Connect with your Internship Coordinator
- If you don’t plan to get academic credit, you can start an internship at any time. But consider your schedule and commitments. When can you squeeze in a 10-15 hour a week internship?
- It's never too early or too late to do your first internship, but your sophomore or junior year is a good target. Depending on the internship, the employer may require more or less credits completed in a particular major. Connect with your Internship Coordinator to find out best practices for your major.
Reflect on what you want out of an internship
- Learn a new skill or practice a skill you recently learned
- Apply your classroom learning in a real-world setting
- Experience a new sector, industry, or work environment
- Explore an interesting career path
- Get your foot in the door at a specific organization
Look for internships
- Apply for positions you find through referrals, employer websites, internship sites, fairs, etc.
- Create your own by approaching an organization you feel passionate about with an internship proposal.
Get your materials together (Be sure to connect with Career Development to get feedback - or to get tips if you are not sure where to start!)
- Draft and publish a resume, cover letter, introductory email, and thank you email.
- The importance of these documents cannot be overstated. Take them seriously. Make sure they are error-free and tailored to specific internships.
Prepare for interviews
- Take time to investigate effective interview strategies, research the employer, prepare answers to common questions, and figure out how you'll articulate your value to the employer.
- Practice saying your answers out loud by yourself, with friends, or with a career professional.
- Does the internship involve meaningful work that is of value to the organization?
- Does the employer seem committed to helping you create learning goals and providing ongoing feedback?