How to Land an Awesome Internship
College internships are a great way to explore your potential career options after graduating. As an added benefit, many internships have lead directly to careers.
The first step is to locate an internship you’re interested in.
Where to Find a College Internship
- Internships.com is rated by Forbes as one of the top 10 best career websites. There are thousands of internships available, all of which you can sort by area or location.
- The US Government accepts students and graduates into their internship programs. Learn more here.
- If non-profits are your thing, Idealist matches interns up with local organizations.
- Intern Abroad is a division of Go Abroad. You can sort opportunities by country or field of study.
Once you find some internships that sound perfect, it’s time to land them. If you totally nail down these areas, you’ll be able to get yourself an internship you love.
How to Land a College Internship
- Your resume is the first thing the organization will review. It should be impeccable. Proofread it, have a friend review it, and make sure that it is accurate. Now is not the time to stretch the truth.
- Your experience may seem like a deal-breaker, but most organizations are willing to accept an inexperienced intern if they have other unique experiences. You might not have previous job experience in government policy. But, if you’re a member of your student government or president of your sorority or fraternity, you can still have a solid chance. Look closely at all your experiences to determine if they are applicable
- Your application. For some competitive internship opportunities, applications can begin months in advance. Make sure you get yours in early, and that it is totally accurate.
- Your interview is where you can really shine. Dress appropriately for the position. Prepare for those open-ended interview questions like “What do you want to do with your life?” and “Where do you see yourself in five years.” Your answers don’t have to be lengthy, detailed plans—but they should have a sense of direction and purpose. Don’t just come prepared to answer questions, be ready to ask them. Ask whether the internship focuses on work production or actual learning opportunities, what careers previous interns ended up in, what skills the internship will teach you, and when you should expect to hear back.
- Your follow-up. Don’t let your application process end with the interview. If you asked when to follow up in your interview, be sure to give an extra day and then contact the organization. Even if they don’t choose you for that internship, following up can show that you are serious about working for them. This could help you land future internships or jobs.