It can be challenging to find an internship, and while we at Rise know this and would love to help, we can only do so much. Here are some tips and tricks on how to successfully find an internship as a college student.
First thing first – start the application process EARLY; the longer you wait, the slimmer your options will be. Waiting until later will also make this process a lot more stressful than it needs to be because it gets a lot more competitive the closer you get to summer.
Through Your University
Colleges should be getting you ready for your professional career post-graduation, and one of the ways they help you is through their career services. They will not only help you find an internship, but they will also work with you to help perfect your resume as well as give you mock interviews for practice.
Another great resource at your university are your professors- they are there to help you grow, and would be more than happy to help you navigate finding an internship. Rev Kunnath, an intern at Rise, weighed in.
“Always try asking your professors and other faculty members if they can help you find a position! Even if you don’t know the professor well, you can try going to their office hours and let them know you are looking for an internship. They won’t know you need one until you ask, and they are there to help you.”
Websites To Keep an Eye On
Do Not Be Afraid to Network
Katie Madamba, an advisor for collegiate student athletes, has some insightful advice for students searching for internships!
“The biggest thing I would say to do is network! Make a list of some of your dream companies and try to find people within those companies, and then set up informational interviews. Ask those people how they got to where they are now. Dive into advice for those looking for their first full-time position. You can also give them your resume and ask if there are any experiences that you don’t currently have that they think you’d need to in order to land an internship or full-time job within their company or field,” says Katie.
“Putting yourself out there can be scary, but people love talking about their experiences. Another piece of advice is when looking for an internship or first full-time job – don’t be too picky. Apply to multiple positions. If you get an interview with a company that wasn’t your first choice you can always use that interview as practice.”
Erin Geiger, a municipal court administrator agrees- networking is key to success.
“Definitely network as much as possible and challenge the status quo! When I was looking for an internship in college, I had received a list of organizations that my school had been affiliated with and other students had interned with in the past. While many of my peers simply picked off that list, I asked if I could deviate and find my own because I wasn’t satisfied with any of them. I asked all of my professors if they knew anyone in the field that I was interested in and I got different information from all of them (all of which was helpful),” says Erin.
“My work paid off because I was able to find something that I was very interested in and ended up having a great experience with my internship! It also benefited the school because they were able to add that organization to their list.”
Don’t Hold Yourself Back!
It can be easy to not complete your professional goals because of being scared to get out there, but if you hold back, then you won’t have the chance to grow and expand your experience.
“Don’t be afraid to ask questions,” says Joshua Tinney, student success coordinator at Southern Oregon University. “And don’t be afraid to ask for further opportunities. Keep in contact with folks afterward. I know it can be scary at first but try to immerse yourself in your internship and soak in as much information as you can. Most people are happy to have you there and want you there — so don’t be afraid!”
Internships are there to help students gain the necessary experience and knowledge they need to grow in their professional careers. That being said, they are in very high demand, which means it can be difficult to find an internship that is the right fit for you. You are NOT alone. Keep trying, applying, and continue to network on applications such as Rise to increase your chances of finding connections and getting hired.