No matter what year you are in college, it’s important to be on the lookout for internships. You don’t need me to tell you internships provide valuable hands-on experience, paid or not, and connect you to people who have an in with your dream work field. Internships are the gateway to securing a job. However, don’t just expect one to fall in your lap; finding a good internship can be a lot of work, but it’s worth it and necessary. Don’t want to be one of the thousands of students displaced and panicking after graduation? Here are a few places and ways to start searching!
1. Career Center
The people who work in the career center are pros at finding internships and jobs, and helping students perfect their resumes and cover letters. When companies are looking for interns, they often post with universities. Since you’ll be on campus anyway, stop by and check for openings.
2. Intern Queen Website
One of my favorite websites for available internships is the Intern Queen, run by internship expert Lauren Berger. It’s chock full of opportunities, career advice, and college tips. Post your resume, scroll through the listings, and even apply to become a Campus Ambassador.
3. Spread the Word
Tell everyone you know that you’re looking and, more specifically, what you’re looking for. By using social media, blogs, professors, family, and friends… word of mouth is a fast way to find connections.
Perhaps an employer won’t use the site to reach out to you for an interview, but putting your education, experience, skills, and recommendations out there is a great way to market yourself. My current internship boss checked out my LinkedIn profile before our interview and said it played a part in her decision to interview me.
Another way to find an internship in your desired field is to “cold call” as Intern Queen’s Lauren Berger did. When the company she wanted to work for didn’t have information about interning, she picked up the phone. So if your dream company doesn’t outright list their intern opportunities, don’t be afraid to pick up the phone!
Above all, be persistent. Attend career and internship fairs on campus, check with the alumni office, and scour any other internship sites you come across. However, don’t depend on online listings, as some sites are not frequently updated or even legitimate offerings.