The deadlines for applying to summer internships are quickly approaching, but it’s hard enough to find them, let alone apply. So here’s a guide to the minefield of finding the perfect internship for this summer and beyond!
Use Your School’s Resources
One easy thing to do is check your email. If your major is anything like mine your the department sends you five emails a day, and if you’re anything like me, you ignore a lot of them. However, some of them are definitely worth paying attention to because they contain internship opportunities, and if the company is going through your school directly you probably already have a better chance!
Most schools also have some kind of “Career Services” where they have resources, such as career advisors, for students and alumni looking for jobs and internships. Emerson’s Career Services has walk-in hours for short appointments Monday though Friday from 1-3, and if you want to schedule a longer appointment their number is 617-824-8586. Some schools also have an online database of companies and people that might post internships or allow students to make connections with them over the website. Here at Emerson, ours is called LionHire, where students can make a profile that includes their resume, cover letters, references, etc. and allow them to search for internships in their field and submit their resume through the website.
Lots of schools also have networking events and one of the biggest resources are internship fairs. Emerson has one every semester and on March 23rd we are having a Career Expo from 1-4 at the Courtyard Marriott Boston Tremont Hotel. They also have a lot of workshops before the fair on March 15th and 16th from 3-6 p.m. in Campus Center 118 including: Skype/Phone Interviews at 3 p.m., What to Wear at 4 p.m., Networking at 5 p.m., and General Interview Prep and Q&A session with Career Services.
And for those who have trouble finding the ideal internship in their college or hometown and think that they might have better luck in New York, Emerson offers an annual networking trip to the big city, called New York Connection. This is a one day trip where students can pick companies to visit and learn about the career path employees took and what working in New York is like from the perspective of four different tracks. And if you do make a connection on the trip, or find an internship in New York , you can use EHS, a housing organization for students with internships in New York City.
Use the Internet
The internet is a ubiquitous source of resources and internships are no exception. Internships.com and Looksharp both allow you to search by company, city, or category-such as, Graphic Design, or Marketing Internships, etc. and then narrow down your search by city, season, the type of company you want, whether you need it to paid, and several other criteria. Glassdoor has a lot of the same search options but provides you more information about the companies like an option to search for salaries and company reviews. YouTern has a lot more specific search options like more specific categories, preferred hours per week, whether or not you prefer a virtual/ telecommuting job, etc. It also allows you to upload your resume onto the site, and apply directly through the website. If you’re looking for experience with a non-profit you can go directly to Idealist.com. However, beware of the inevitable email overload when you set up an account with any of these sites. As someone who’s been burned before, I would suggest having a separate email for these kind of sites so you don’t have to go though 10 a day in addition to all the other emails from school and the ten thousand other things you’re doing. And if all else fails, Google it! You never know what you might find by simply googling internships in your field.
Use Social Media
When you think of social media you don’t usually think of career planning, but it is a great tool for searching for jobs and helping you get the job. LinkedIn, is obviously the first social media site that comes to mind for networking, however it is also great for finding jobs and internships. The first step is, of course, having a great profile. LinkedIn profiles allow you to expand on things that you can’t fit in your resume and include links to all of the projects that would impress future employers and make you more than just words on a resume. LinkedIn also has a job search function where users can search for job titles, companies, or keywords in specific cities. To get ideas for things to search you can look at other people you know at school or people with job titles you think you might want and see where they got internships or what company they work for. If nothing else, it gives you a chance to lust over your classmates’ beautiful resumes or their amazing internships, and hopefully inspire you to create your own incredible resume and get your own perfect internship.
Another social media site, that is a much less conventional place to search for job opportunities is Twitter. Many companies, especially if you’re looking at jobs in a communication or tech field, want to see that you can use social media effectively. On Twitter you can share your work and hopefully get other people to talk about it and share it with their followers. You can also follow and share things from companies that you care about or are interested in getting a job with. Who knows, they might even post job or internship opportunities with the company!
Do an Internship Abroad Program
A lot of study abroad programs have internship options, and some of them even find the internship for you! For instance Arcadia University offers internship abroad programs, and they take your preferences and experience into account and find an internship for you. There is also a website called Global Experiences with programs in 11 cities, so you can get your ideal internship somewhere like London, Paris, Shanghai, or Sydney! Once you are accepted into the program and go to your chosen city you will be connected with a Program Advisor, who will assist you with your resume, cover letters, and interview skills before sending you to interviews with selected employers from their database.
Finding internships is a ridiculously stressful process, but it can be a fun one as well. All of these resources show the wealth of opportunities at your finger tips. Whether you do an internship in your hometown, abroad, or in a city you’ve never lived in before, there are endless opportunities to grow and learn new things that might help you in your future career!