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Find the Right Internship

Internships provide college students or recent graduates with work experience inside businesses, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations.

Since many employers rely on an internship program to attract and evaluate future employees, an internship may open a direct path to a job.

In addition, an internship can offer you an opportunity to:

  • add relevant work experience to your resume, which many employers are looking for when they review a jobseeker’s application.
  • apply the theories and ideas you’ve learned in the classroom to a real-life context.
  • determine whether you really have an interest in and talent for the field you are majoring in.
  • learn about cooperate organizational culture and the differences between college and workplace environments.
  • establish or expand your network of professional contacts and references who can help you connect with employment opportunities in your chosen field.
  • earn money for tuition and expenses, if the internship is a paid one.
  • earn college credit, if the school you attend offers a credit option for internship experience.

Locating internship opportunities

  • Check with your campus career office, which maintains a list of internships and organizes career fairs where you can connect directly with companies that offer internships.
  • Talk to the professors and staff in your academic department. They are likely to know about internships in your field, including less publicized opportunities.
  • Visit the website of companies you are interested in working for after you graduate, and search their careers page for internship listings. 
  • Tell everyone in your personal network who may have contacts with employers that you are interested in finding an internship.
  • Leverage the internet. A number of websites allow you to search for internship opportunities by your academic major, occupation, preferred location, and company. Three places to begin your search that have a number of articles and blog posts with tips for making the most of an internship are:
  • Propose your own internship. If you have identified a company where you would like to work, and it doesn't have a formal internship program, develop and send a proposal that emphasizes the skills you would bring to the company, the types of problems or opportunities you could help them with, and the dates you would be available.