Five Ways to Find an Internship Today!

Five Ways to Find an Internship Today!

Updated December 2020

You want to know how to find an internship. Here are five ways to find an internship today! It’s Always internship season – summer, fall, winter, spring, it doesn’t matter.  Given that things are unpredictable in the season of COVID-19, the good thing as that these tested tips work in or out of a pandemic.
These proven strategies helped me find eight internships when I was in college.  Later, as the Senior Manager of a national internship program, these tips helped over 500 students find internships across the country. There are obviously more than five ways to find an internship, but these serve as a starting point for you today.
Even in this time of social distancing, you can still pursue many of these methods for finding an internship. Zoom calls,  phone calls and emails are all valid ways of communicating. Colleges that have moved online are still offering virtual career services appointments to help students navigate this challenging time.


1) Ask Around

Approach your college professors, department heads and administrators and let them know what type of internships you are looking for. They may have professional contacts that they can connect you with in the industry you are exploring.
I landed one of my best internships through one of my communications professors who connected me to the right person. I got an on campus internship using the same tactic of just asking and letting the right people know what type of opportunity I was looking for. Go beyond the college community and ask your friends parents, mentors and other professionals you know too. This is also your first attempt at learning to network! 
The Internship Manual

TAKE ACTION: Make a list of at least 10 people (professors, parents, friend’s parents, mentors etc.) you know that you want to approach in helping you find an internship. Develop a short script explaining what type of opportunity you are looking for and how they can help you. Getting comfortable talking to others and sharing your goals will come in handy later as you start to build your networking skills.

Bonus Tip: It’s time to join LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a social network that focuses on professional networking and career development.

 If you need scripts, I include scripts for these and other scenarios in my book, The Internship Manual: A Step-by-Step Guide to Getting the Internship of Your Dreams. I also dedicate an entire chapter to the subject of networking because it is that important to your future internship and career success. There are many keys on how to find an internship in the book.

 2) Connect with career services 

Your college career center can be an exceptional resource for finding internships. Career centers have onsite interview days, career fairs, internship postings and a vast array of resources at your disposal. You have access to the all of those tools for free (well, of course you are paying tuition). If you can’t make it to campus, set up a virtual visit with a career advisor.
Career fairs offer you the chance to get beyond email and get valuable face time with hiring professionals. Use these opportunities to your advantage, and use your career services center as a part of your internship search team. This fall, career fairs might look a little different as virtual events.
  • Make an Appointment: Schedule a time to sit down with a career counselor/advisor (or virtually) to go over your resume. Discuss your internship goals and create a plan for finding internships each year, and ultimately finding a job. You should work with your counselor to update your plan at the beginning of each semester.
  • Assess Your Skills: Some offices offer the opportunity for students to take skills assessment tests. If you are still trying to figure out your major and need some career direction, sign up to take a skills assessment and learn what careers you might be best suited for.

3) Don’t Ignore Small Businesses and Non-Profits

Meaningful and amazing internship experiences don’t have to come from companies with 5,000+ employees.  In a previous post, Not Everyone Can Intern at Google, I wrote about why you should look at small companies for internships. There are so many smaller companies with under 500 employees who gladly welcome interns into their operations. Size alone doesn’t dictate the quality and opportunity of an internship experience.
Smaller companies and non-profit organizations, can often be a great resume boost and opportunity for that first internship. More competitive internships often require previous internship experience or are reserved for upperclassmen. The challenge currently, is that many small business are closing are can’t afford to pay interns.
TAKE ACTIONFind a small local business or non-profit, do your research and then contact them.  Let them know you are a college student looking to do an internship, that you’ve done some research and are very interested in learning how you can intern with their company. 
Download a free copy of my Internship Manual Tracker. This tracker keeps you organized on your internship search. You will find an action sheet to keep track of the companies you are applying to,  a calendar so you know what you should be doing no matter the time of year.


When I was in college, I completed eight internships, some with big companies and some with small. No matter where the internship opportunity is, you have the ability to learn, observe, ask questions, and contribute to a company or organization. If you embrace the opportunity you can come away with what you realize later was your dream internship. 

 4) Do online searches

There are many job boards where companies post their available internships. Start with the sites listed belo that focus on internships.

This is by no means an exhaustive list of the online search options. As you compile your list of companies that you are interested in interning for, visit their websites as well.

Follow the top companies you are interested in on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instragram, Twitter and any other social media they use. Create a LinkedIn profile today if you don’t’ have one already.

5. Apply to Divesrity Internship Recruitment Programs

Internship recruitment programs often require a competitive application process to gain admission. The process is worth it considering that the majority of these experiences provide paid internships and connect you directly to major companies or government agencies. Once a part of a program you generally have the additional advantage of support before, during and after your internship experience. You become a part of a large network that extends beyond your college network. Subscribe to my Diversity Internship Directory to see a comprehensive listing of diverse internship opportunities. There are others program like the Washington Center Internship program as well.

Get started on finding your dream internship and becoming a superstar intern, right now!


The Best Summer Internships are Found in the Winter

The Best Summer Internships are Found in the Winter

Another semester has come and gone and you’ve survived. Whether you are a senior coming up on your last hoorah or a freshman still getting the hang of things, your winter break is a much needed, much welcomed, few moments of rest. Don’t sleep too much and miss out on your chance to get a jump on your summer 2018 plans.

The best summer internships are found in the fall/winter. Many Fortune 500 companies recruit on campus and online from September – December. If you are looking for a paid internship, you need to get on the ball as soon as possible.

Even though some companies have already filled their 2018 summer slots, there are many other worthwhile, awesome and valuable internships opportunities still up for grabs, I just want you to understand that you need to get moving on this process. Start with my free Internship Manual Toolkit that will help you stay on track during the search process. Even if you aren’t looking to intern for a big name company across the country, starting your internship search now and getting ahead can help you stay on top of it when things get busy again.

Why an Internship is Necessary

[x_pullquote cite=”S. Kent” type=”left”]Launching your career after college isn’t just about your major, GPA and extracurriculars…[/x_pullquote]


Companies now expect to see real internship experience on your resume before you graduate. Many employer’s are expecting to see multiple internships. Getting a job after college isn’t just about your major, GPA and extracurriculars, it is also about showing a company that you bring value, can learn fast and have been tested in the workforce. Internships give you that.

The internship experience isn’t just about the company, it is also about you. I did eight internships while in college. Each experience was different and valuable in it’s own way. Internships allow you to test out the waters into different careers you may not have thought of, learn new things and see how your classroom experiences translate to the real world. In addition, on average, interns make about $15,000 more per year when starting out after college.

Your internship search doesn’t have to become stressful or overwhelming. Check out these 5 quick ways to find an internship that have all been proven to work.

  1. Ask Around
  2. Get help from career services
  3. Search in unconventional places
  4. Online research
  5. Apply to internship programs

Read the article for full details and actions to take for each of these 5 ways to find an internship.

Don’t waste your winter break. Get some rest, see family, see your friends but stay ahead of everyone else and get moving on finding an internship. Pick up a copy of, The Internship Manual a Step-by-Step Guide to Finding the Internship of Your Dreams and learn everything you need to know to succeed in this process.

Winter Break is About Business, Binging and Mac N’ Cheese

Winter Break is About Business, Binging and Mac N’ Cheese

Study GroupAs a college student, you measure life in semesters. In a perfect scenario, eight semesters will lead you to the promised land of your dream career. In between those eight semesters you will have multiple winter and summer breaks. How you spend that time off could be the difference between finding your dream job, or moving back into your childhood bedroom after graduation. 

It is December, the stress of finals is over and you are set to reclaim your sanity for a while. Bring on the 5-8 weeks with no classes and no clocks. Let’s be real though, after Christmas (or your family holiday) is over, most of the time you just kinda hang out around the house waiting to go back to school. After a week of binge watching Scandal, How to Get Away With Murder, The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones or whatever your particular viewing addiction, get up and make this break count.

Use this time to be proactive in your career planning. When your classmates get back to campus talking about how late they slept everyday, you can boast about the interview you have coming up for your summer internship. I’m an advocate for using your break to sleep late, hang with friends from home and eat as much homemade mac n’ cheese as possible, but find some balance and you will be better off later – especially when it comes to mac n’ cheese.

On my breaks I often worked as much as I could. Even if over break you plan to try and make as much money as possible, you should still do some proactive career planning. Here are 20 ways you can maximize your winter break. You don’t have to do all of these things, but pick a few that you feel you can accomplish.

  1. Volunteer with a non-profit
  2. Do an internship
  3. Job shadow at a few prospective careers
  4. Conduct informational interviews
  5. Look for a Spring internship
  6. Look a Summer internship
  7. Take a winter session course
  8. Take a class online (think computer skills)
  9. Write content for your blog – or start a blog
  10. Work on a business plan
  11. Read a few books (non-school related)
  12. Pick up extra hours at your part-time job
  13. Take on extra projects at your part-time job
  14. Work on your graphic design, music or writing portfolio
  15. Create or update your LinkedIn profile
  16. Create a resume and cover letter
  17. Take a road trip to research a city you are considering relocating to after graduation
  18. Plan your activities for next semester (what clubs to join etc.)
  19. Make a budget
  20. Research potential companies and careers

Before you decide which of these 20 things you might endeavor to do, reflect on your college experience thus far. What has this last year or semester taught you about yourself and what you want to do moving forward? Pick activities that will lead you closer to some potential clarity about your career choices. Don’t be afraid to challenge yourself and get uncomfortable. Now is the time to take chances and explore who you are and who you want become. Enjoy your time off!


Not Everyone Can Intern at Google

Not Everyone Can Intern at Google

Businessman Interviewing Female Job Applicant In OfficeIt’s internship season! If you’re in college you should be looking for an internship right now. As a freshman, sophomore, junior, senior and even graduate student you should be in the thick of the hunt. If you haven’t started looking and applying you need to get moving quickly – like now!

The application deadlines for some of the more coveted internship openings passed back in November and December. Before you panic, remember that there are plenty of other opportunities out there for you to pursue if you are creative and remain open.

According to a recent survey by the number one destination for internships this summer will be Facebook followed by Chevron, Google, Quicken Loans and Ebay.

As the former senior manager of an internship program that placed students with major media companies across the country, I know very well the desire of many students to land their dream gig with their dream company. I had the privilege of being a part of that dream come true for hundreds of students. Big well-known company internships often come with not just a structured internship experience but also access to major corporate events, a team of other interns to collaborate with, access to the latest and greatest technology and are often in exciting cities like New York, LA, Atlanta, DC and Silicon Valley.

Interns at companies like Google, Yahoo, NBCUniversal, Viacom, Facebook and so many other places find themselves tackling innovative and creative projects and being a part of a team contributing to products and programming used and accessed by millions around the world. If you can land one, go for it!

I do want to remind you, however, that size alone doesn’t dictate the quality and opportunity to have a meaningful and amazing internship experience. When I was in college, I completed eight internships, some with big companies and some with small. No matter where the internship opportunity is, you have the ability to learn, observe, ask questions, and contribute to a company or organization. If you embrace the opportunity you can come away with what you realize later was your dream internship.

There are thousands of smaller companies across this country with 5-500 employees who gladly welcome interns into their operations throughout the year. The majority of American workers actually work for companies with 500 or fewer employees. Smaller companies and non-profit organizations can often be a great resume boost and opportunity for someone trying to get that first internship. More competitive internships often require previous internship experience, have strict GPA minimums or are reserved for upperclassmen.

My most influential internship experience came as the result of a referral from one of my professors. While my college (SUNY Oswego) itself is not a small company, I interned for two years in my University public affairs office, which employed only three staff members. I learned so much in that time about public affairs, writing, managing a publication and interviewing that eventually I pursued a master’s degree in Professional Writing and started my career in higher education.

While you are in the middle of your internship search I implore you to not forget about the little guy. Find a small local business, or non-profit, do your research and add them to you list.

The new salon that just open down the block from you might need a social media guru, a non-profit might need some marketing assistance to develop a campaign to recruit more volunteers or the local struggling restaurant might need help understanding profit and loss and your accounting skills could be very much in need. Get creative and don’t overlook opportunities where you are.

If you are serious about finding an internship then invest in yourself and get my book, The Internship Manual: A Step-by-Step Guide to Getting the Internship of Your Dreams and keep going until you lock down an internship!