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. Here's an example of an internship proposal letter.