Checklist: Searching for an Internship

By Lucy Rodgers, Internship Coordinator

Does the thought of finding an internship seem overwhelming?  There are many ways to approach an internship search.  You can search reactively – looking through job boards and company postings to see what’s open or proactively – doing research in your field of interest and getting to know people currently in the field or company of your choice.  The following checklist will assist you in using both reactive and proactive strategies.

  • Have your resume and cover letter critiqued: Career Services offers daily drop-in hours – simply stop in with a printed copy of your resume or cover letter and meet with a counselor.
  • Identify the field, industry and/or region that you are interested in pursuing: Having a focused search will increase your likelihood of finding an internship that matches your interests and career goals.
  • Know your industry/field recruiting cycle: Many programs have application deadlines several months in advance of the internship start date.  In general, business and technical companies tend to recruit in the early fall for summer internships, while the communications industry will have many of their summer opportunities posted in the late winter/early spring.
  • Network with employers via social media, on-campus events, information sessions and workshops:  Yes!  Many internships are found (directly or indirectly) through networking.  Career Services hosts many events, employer information sessions and workshops that can help you make connections and leverage your internship search.
  • Tell your friends, family, faculty and staff that you are looking for an internship:  Make sure that all these people know what you’d like to do, so that they can pass on relevant leads and introduce you to people in their networks.
  • Use OrangeLink and web/social media resources for searching internship opportunities: The Career Services website has some amazingly helpful internship resources which can be accessed at:  Some of my top choices are:
    – Where internships are listed by themes, then by state.
    – A one-stop-shop, which is efficient and effective for finding a large amount of internships currently available.
    – A visually appealing site which highlights paid and summer internships searchable by region and fields.
    – This site has downloadable guides that are really handy in searching for internships.  You will be able to identify companies within your industry or field, get the history of a company and identify their top competitors.
  • Research companies prior to an interview:  You need to be able to speak knowledgeably about the company and its culture.
  • Keep a log of the companies/internships that you have applied to:  You may want to include dates and methods of application so that you may refer back to the internship posting when called on to interview.  This will also help you organize your follow-up efforts.
  • Be sure to follow-up with employers: Always send a “thank-you” letter after meeting with an employer or after an interview.

For more assistance, please log-in to OrangeLink to sign up for an Internship Search Strategy Workshop held on Wednesdays and Fridays throughout the semester.