5 Steps to Finding the Perfect Internship

Resources abound that can help you find an internship that matches your interests and skills. But with so many choices, how can you find the right internship for you?
Internships are exciting opportunities to explore your dream jobs and discover if they are a good match for you. Here are 5 tips on how to find your ideal internship:

1. Start at school.

Have you ever been to your college or university’s career center? It isn’t just for graduating students or full-time job seekers. The center’s staff works solely to make sure you find an internship that’s right for you. Many career service offices have one-on-one meetings by appointment, and might host college job fairs that feature internship opportunities, so you can find an internship with someone who knows all about what’s available – and what you’ll love.

2. Get connected.

One of the best ways to find an internship is to meet people who do what you are interested in.

Many colleges have alumni networking services that allow you to get in touch with alumni from your school in a particular field. Ask if you can help out or just chat with them about their jobs – even if they can’t hire you, you can still learn a lot. Plus, your enthusiasm might help them remember you if they need to find an intern in the future!

3. Go online.

Even when sitting at home, you have resources to help you find an internship at your fingertips. Although many big job listings websites also include internship listings, smaller websites cater specifically to college students and recent graduates who need help searching for jobs or internships.

If you’re looking in a certain field, like the physical sciences or the arts, many online communities compile internship listings within a subject area, so you can find an internship that appeals to you right away.

4. Talk to a professor.

Even though you get the summer off, your professors are working year-round. Many professors remain on campus to do research even when classes aren’t in session, and sometimes they need a hand with their work. Why not find an internship on campus?

If you loved last semester’s statistics class or really got into your Shakespeare seminar, ask your professor if he or she could use an assistant for the summer. Even if academia isn’t your thing, an internship with a professor is an experience applicable to many career paths – your internship experience could get you a full-time job in the future. Your professor might also be able to contact his colleagues in the department or at another school to help you find an internship you’ll enjoy.

5. Find your dream job.

If you know the job you’ve always wanted but can’t find an internship that fits the bill, it never hurts to ask.

Even if the company you’ve had your eye on doesn’t seem to offer internship opportunities, send an email to a staff member and inquire if they could use an intern. Many internships are unpaid – and if you are willing to work for free, it’s a very tempting offer!

Once you’ve found an internship that interests you, make sure you ask your college and employer if you can receive course credit for your work. And don’t forget to get started writing your internship resume and cover letter for your application – ULS offers its professsional resume-writing service to help!