Learn how to gain real-world experience through internships, conduct an effective search, and maximize your internship experience. Students who experience success take charge of their internship search. They focus on concrete actions that are the result of careful thought and attention. Please contact Enzie Lagattuta to schedule an appointment to discuss your internship questions.
Meet with the Internship Advisor
Obtaining internship advice early gives you the opportunity to:
- Find answers to all your internship questions.
- Receive advice and direction on developing an internship plan of action based on your own needs.
- Learn about the most effective ways to search for an internship.
- Discover tips and tools to guide your efforts and overcome road blocks.
Assess Your Interests
The first step in your internship search is to assess your interests.
- What kind of activities, environments and job functions interest you?
- What career interests would you like to explore?
- What is it about those areas that attract you?
- Are there particular organizations or companies you would like to intern with?
- What career sector or industry are you most interested in?
- Where would you like to intern geographically?
- In what type of an environment would you feel most comfortable?
- What are your skills? What skills do you wish to develop?
- Are your skills compatible with your desired career interests?
- What would you like to take away from your internship? (Learning outcomes, specific skills, direction for the future, etc.)
Assess Your Internship Needs
Consider and list any requirements you have for your internship.
- Do you need a paid internship? Could you afford to work for the experience only?
- How many hours a week are you willing to work?
- What skills are you trying to develop?
- Is there a particular geographic location where you would like to intern?
- Do you have visa requirements that pose limitations on an internship?
- Do you need to rely on public transportation?
- Are you limited to the number of hours you can work?
- Does your academic department have specific internship requirements?
Set Your Goals
After assessing your interests and needs, it is time to set concrete goals:
- What kind of internship will combine your interests and your needs? For example:
Do you need an internship in a specific location
which earns an hourly wage? Do you want to
work with youth in a non-profit agency that
you can get to on the bus? Are you willing to
work in an unpaid internship but only for four
hours a week?
- What type of internship will help meet your career goals?
- What sort of experience do you hope to gain and skills you hope to learn in your internship?
Internship Plan of Action
This is an important step in searching for an internship effectively. It incorporates what you have learned through your assessments above and creates a strategic action plan that will help you to get the results you hope for.
- Reflect on what you hope to achieve with an internship, the skills you want to develop, and the training you want to receive.
- Set clearly defined goals, write down everything to be done, and take action.
- Create a quality resume.
- Create an articulate cover letter.
- Create a list of your top three or four references.
- Begin a focused search for an internship that serves your goals and meets your needs.
- Research organizations that you hope to interview with.
- Network. Tell as many people as possible about what you are looking for.
- Arrange for informational interviews with alumni and other professionals working in your field.
- Develop your interviewing skills through mock interviews, interviewing workshops, and practice.