Internships and other work experiences are vital to one’s successful transition into the world of work and graduate school. Research indicates that the number one factor employers look for in prospective candidates is relevant work experience, including internship experiences. More and more graduate and professional degree programs seek applicants who also have experience in their field of interest. Grounding your academic endeavors with relevant, hands-on experience is crucial to successfully navigating your way to the next step in your life after Smith.
The Benefits of An Internship
Internships can help you in many ways:
- Learn first-hand about a career field. It's a perfect way to try something on to see if it's a good fit for you.
- Gain solid experience and professional skills that can be used in the professional arena and can make you more marketable when searching for jobs and applying to programs.
- Gain confidence in yourself and the background you bring to the internship.
- Provide focus and help you clarify your academic endeavors when you return to Smith.
- Better understand in which direction you would like to go when you graduate.
- Build a professional network of contacts who can help you learn more about your field of interest and can assist you when you begin to look for jobs.
Read the Lazarus Center guide to internships.
Vault Career Insider features an extensive searchable database of internships and jobs. Enter via Handshake - first-time users need to create a Career Insider account to access.
ZipRecruiter - ZipRecruiter is intended to help people find meaningful employment.
Idealist.org lists nonprofit organizations and opportunities around the world.
InternshipCrossing.com lists internship job openings from all Fortune 500 companies.
Internships-USA compiles extensive directories of internship programs for opportunities in diverse fields.
Username: SmithCollege Password: Pioneers (updated 9/3/14)
Internships.com is a large database of national internships, with paid and unpaid opportunities.
- Women, Law & Legal Advocacy
- Women in Health Policy
- Women in Public Policy
- Women in STEM Policy
- Women & Congress
- Women in Global Policy
snagajob.com is an online recruiter for part-time and hourly jobs.
Summer on the Cuyahoga (SOTC)—this summer internship program is open to students of Case Western Reserve, Colgate, Cornell, Denison, Ohio Wesleyan, Smith, University of Chicago and Yale. The program brings together students for an intensive summer immersion program designed to help interns explore the professional, civic and social offerings of the Cleveland area.
VolunteerMatch is a free service that connects volunteers with nonprofits. Over 90,000 organizations currently participate.
Hound.com is a free job search tool that tracks down live, active job and internship listings on employers' career pages.
WayUp.com is an online marketplace for college students to find internships, full-time jobs, part-time and virtual gigs. Free for students to use; registration is required.
Academy of Television Arts and Sciences offers a generous stipend and internships in several art–related categories. Application deadline is typically mid-March
Center for Museum Studies lists courses, fellowships and internships at the Smithsonian Institution.
hireCulture.org lists creative internship and employment opportunities in Massachusetts. This is a free service of the Massachusetts Cultural Council, and includes listings from across the state. Search by category, region and organization.
Los Angeles County Arts Commission (film, literary, and performing arts) and the J. Paul Getty Trust (visual arts) give more than $1.1 million each year to support internships in film, literary, performing and visual arts organizations throughout the country. Interns receive stipends for 10–week internships.
Cool Works lists jobs and internships in sports and recreation.
Basic & Applied Sciences
National Science Foundation REU Search - Search Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REUs) in a wide variety of fields
Council for Responsible Genetics is a nonprofit organization promoting a comprehensive public interest agenda for biotechnology, and offers unpaid internship opportunities to qualified undergraduate and graduate students.
American Chemical Society (ACS) Careers is a source for pre-qualified chemistry professionals worldwide.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) lists paid and unpaid internships, fellowships and student employment for students and recent graduates.
U.S. Geological Survey offers paid internship opportunities for undergraduates, a Recent Graduate Program, and the Presidential Management Fellows (PMF) Program.
Student Conservation Association lists conservation internships, short–term jobs and career information.
NASA offers undergraduate internships throughout the year at locations across the U.S.
PathwaystoScience.org supports pathways to the STEM fields: science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. We connect underrepresented groups with STEM programs, funding, mentoring and resources. Find undergraduate summer research opportunities, graduate fellowships, postdoctoral positions, as well as resources and materials pertaining to recruitment, retention, and mentoring.
Association of American Business Media Companies is the association for business-to-business information providers, including producers of print publications, websites, trade shows and other media.
InternMatch Business Internships - A variety of internship postings with North American organizations.
Communications and Media
EntertainmentJobs.com - Internships and jobs in film, television, radio, cable and in those businesses that support the industry.
LucasFilms offers internship opportunities in the business aspect of the entertainment industry, as well as in various operating departments within the Skywalker Ranch facility.
Mediabistro is the leading provider of jobs, news, education, events, and research for the media industry.
U.S. Department of Education offers internships for interested students seeking valuable work experience in government and federal education policy and administration.
The Education Trust promotes high academic achievement for all students at all levelsâ€”pre-kindergarten through college.
Government & Policy
Brookings Institution functions as an independent analyst and critic, committed to publishing its findings for the information of the public. In its conferences and activities, it serves as a bridge between scholarship and public policy, bringing new knowledge to the attention of decision-makers and affording scholars a better insight into public policy issues.
Carter Center Internship Program is an opportunity for undergraduate juniors and seniors, recent graduates and graduate and professional students interested in contemporary international and domestic issues. The deadline for summer internships is typically March 1.
Center for Strategic and International Studies offers full- and part-time volunteer and paid internships in the fall, spring and summer for undergraduate and advanced students interested in a hands-on learning experience with a public policy research institute.
Council on Foreign Relations Volunteer Internship Program offers an exceptional opportunity for talented individuals who are considering a career in international relations. Our volunteer interns have the chance to interact with experts, scholars, and young, upcoming leaders in the foreign policy field.
Government Accountability Project (GAP) mission is to promote corporate and government accountability by protecting whistleblowers, advancing occupational free speech and empowering citizen activists.
The National Priorities Project (NPP), based in Northampton, MA, makes the complex federal budget transparent and accessible so people can exercise their right and responsibility to oversee and influence how their tax dollars are spent.
USA Jobs.gov includes an internship section for current students.
Pfizer is a research–based global health care company with operations on six continents, headquartered in New York City. Summer Student Worker Program offers impactful work experience for college students.
National Institute for Health has research and training opportunities.
4collegewomen.org provides a portal to a wealth of health information resources for women, including a selection of health-related internship information.
American Bar Association links to a variety of internship resources.
Advocates for Children of New York offers a summer policy research internship. Deadline is typically March 1.
The International Law Institute, an internationally renowned, independent, not-for-profit organization based in Washington DC, seeks undergraduate, graduate or otherwise suitably qualified interns with an interest in international law, international economics or development issues.
Lawyers without Borders offers unpaid internship opportunities to law and undergraduate students and young lawyers in New Haven CT and Washington DC (USA) during the following periods: Winter/Spring, Fall, January Term (1 month, full time), Summer, Gap Term or Gap Year (flexible).
National Women's Law Center in Washington, D.C. offers various internship opportunities throughout the year, including a Paid Summer Internship Program.
The Supreme Court of the United States offers judicial and curatorial internship opportunities. (See the Jobs section of the site.)
Idealist.org lists nonprofit organizations and opportunities around the world.
National Council of Nonprofits does not list internships, but can help you source organizations of interest.
GrooveJob.com helps you find an internship or volunteer in Northampton.
TechGen.org creates and sustains a talent pipeline connecting undergraduate and graduate students with innovative tech companies in Massachusetts. Sign up, fill out a profile and start applying directly to companies.
Be sure to read Smith's International Travel Policies & Guidelines.
GoinGlobal helps job and internship seekers find opportunities both at home and abroad. Features career & city guides, job & internship search, employer directory, searchable H1B Visa information and more.
Access GoinGlobal for free on any on-campus device: online.goinglobal.com and create an account. Off-campus users login via Handshake.
Boston University International Programs lists global internships in Australia, Belize, China, Ecuador, England, France, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Niger, Russia and Spain.
BUNAC lists international work and travel programs for students.
Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE) has work–abroad programs for students and recent graduates in France, Ireland, Canada, Germany, New Zealand, Costa Rica and Australia.
Cross-Cultural Solutions is a a recognized leader in the field of international volunteering.
Foundation for Sustainable Development (FSD International) provides students, graduates and professionals with the opportunity to gain practical hands–on experience through summer and year–round internship programs with organizations in Latin America, Africa and Asia. Integrated program includes a family homestay, orientation and debriefing sessions, grant making and program support.
Global Museum Webzine is a compendium of museum, art gallery and nonprofit vacancies.
GlobalPlacement.com has international internships, work placements, traineeships, graduation assignments and voluntary works. Search by country, industry, company size and more.
GoAbroad.com is a comprehensive online directory for study abroad programs, language schools, internships, international volunteer positions, international teaching positions, universities, eco–travel and more.
iHipo.com is dedicated to empowering international careers, offering international jobs and internships search.
IIEPassport.com has a study abroad program search.
LanguageCorps.com is a comprehensive training, placement and support service for talented people interested in travel, adventure and teaching abroad. We provide TESOL training and certification, local language training, guaranteed placement into paid teaching assignments with select partner schools, and a wide array of services, including support from our local Corps Advocates who work in each of our assignment countries.
NGOabroad.com provides frugal, customized international volunteer options and helps people enter international humanitarian work. NGOabroad also helps social workers with international work, internship or volunteering.
Right To Play - volunteer for SportsWorks or SportsHealth program to train coaches, develop infrastructure to support sustainable local ownership of sport and play programs or use the convening power of sports provide health education.
StudyAbroad.com - Internship abroad programs
U.S. Department of State offers a Student Internship Program and the Pathways Program.
Volunteers for Peace lists affordable, international workcamp opportunities.
WorldTeach lists volunteer opportunities teaching in developing countries.
Sponsor for Educational Opportunity Career Program (SEO) provides orientation, training, coaching and substantive summer internships in some of the most exciting and competitive fields for college undergraduates of color.
INROADS develops and places talented underserved youth in business and industry, and prepare them for corporate and community leadership.
Make the Most of Your Internship
Internships enable you to explore potential career fields, practice applying your academic skills in professional settings, and observe first-hand how workplaces function. Above all, an internship is a learning opportunity. You don't have to be the most experienced applicant to be a strong candidate for an internship, but well-crafted and tailored applications that show your interest in the role, your relevant skills, and your experiences are essential.
- Start early to increase your chances of finding a great opportunity. Application deadlines vary depending upon industry and organization; some companies (for example, large finance and consulting firms) may hire summer interns the preceding fall, while other organizations won't post positions or begin considering applicants until February or March.
- Use a variety of resources and approaches to locate internships, and don't limit yourself to applying to only a few opportunities. Applying to 10 to 20 internships is common, though some students apply to fewer while others apply to many more opportunities before securing a position.
- A typical application consists of a resume and cover letter, to be submitted by email or through an online application system. Occasionally an organization will request an essay, writing sample, academic transcript, or references. Always follow the organization's requirements when applying.
- Most organizations conduct one or more rounds of interviews before selecting their interns. Interviews may be in person, by phone, or by Skype. Practice your interviewing skills ahead of time by scheduling a practice interview with a Career Adviser at the Lazarus Center.
- Have you found a great organization you'd like to intern for, but it doesn't advertise an internship program? Contact the organization to inquire about internship opportunities, or to suggest your own internship. Some organizations may appreciate having the extra support on a temporary basis. See the following example of an internship proposal letter.
- After accepting an internship offer, confirm your start date and work schedule with your supervisor. Clarify the dress code, workplace entry procedures, and other logistics.
- Be prepared to receive a lot of information in a short amount of time. Take notes, ask questions and be patient with procedures that may not make sense right away.
- Find out what projects you will work on and the results expected. Share with your supervisor what you hope to learn during your internship.
- Introduce yourself around your office or department. Building relationships with other staff will give you additional resources and people to consult with if your supervisor is unavailable.
- If not specified, ask about break policies, lunch time and so forth. Your supervisor might have forgotten to share these details and will appreciate your asking.
- Perform all assignments with care and attention. You'll build credibility by giving your best effort to everything assigned to you, which can lead to more responsibility and involvement in complex projects.
- Learn how your work contributes to the organization's mission and goals. Knowing how your tasks connect to other work makes it easier for you to be proactive.
- Seek out feedback on your work and suggestions for improvement. Note that the level and frequency of feedback normally given in a workplace may differ from what's common in academic settings.
- Meet people at various levels of your organization and learn about their roles and experiences. Write a thank you note after an informational meeting and stay in touch, perhaps by sending a link to an interesting article, news of an upcoming conference and the like.
- Finish your assigned tasks. Update your supervisor on the status and steps remaining to complete any ongoing projects.
- Ask if your supervisor or someone who knows your work well will serve as a professional reference for you.
- If you're a junior interested in working for the organization after graduation, ask about the possibility of future employment before you leave. Assert your interest and qualifications and inquire about the next step to be considered for a full-time job.
- Send a thank you note to your supervisor and to any other employees who mentored you. Convey your appreciation for the experience and any references written on your behalf.
- Stay in contact with the people you met. An occasional email, phone call, or visit during school breaks can help sustain your relationships with these members of your professional network.
- Review your internship experience: What did you find most fulfilling? What challenged you most? What surprised you? What questions did your internship answer for you, and what new questions did it raise?