Winter is coming to an end, which means it’s time to solidify your summer internship plans. What you might forget is that a majority of intern positions are finalized before summer even begins. It is in your best interest to start your process as soon as possible if you haven’t already.
Whether you know exactly what internship you’re looking for or if you have no clue, the internship hunt can be very tricky. Here are some helpful tips to start.
Start your search early!
Starting your summer internship search early is key. What you might forget is that a majority of intern positions fill up way before summer break. Certain industries and internships have early deadlines as early as November. I would say that beginning the search during winter break affords you additional lead time.
Identify your career interests
Decide what interests you and what industries you want to explore, but don’t worry about being too specific. In fact, it’s best if you don’t. Gaining experience in a number of career fields is good even if you have an idea of a future career path. Here are some things to think about: What do you enjoy doing? What interests you? It might be helpful to discuss this with friends or family members because they might know more about you than you think. Internships can give you exposure to opportunities and offer a chance to sample new and exciting career fields.
Check online resources
This could be as simple as looking on Google or checking out the resources offered by your college. Bucknell’s Center for Career Advancement has an excellent internship opportunity page which lists various programs that partner with Bucknell.
Attend career fairs
Career fairs are a great way to see what internship opportunities are out there. Students and potential employers are given a chance to meet one another and establish professional relationships and discuss potential internship opportunities. Bucknell holds an internship and job fair each semester, so look out for that.
Your former bosses/supervisors, professors, or tutors can really help you in this process. They likely have some contacts and connections who can help refer you to certain positions that match your strengths and skills. Networking is one of the most personable ways to find your next potential opportunity. Plus, these contacts tend to have a comprehensive understanding of your character and work ethic which may benefit you in the evaluation and hiring process. That being said, it’s a good idea to regularly keep in touch through email, text, or even over video calls! Always thank them for their time and advice.
Another important thing is to contact alumni from your high school or college/university. To effectively take advantage of alumni networking, you should try to cultivate meaningful relationships with alumni in your field throughout your college experience. It may be awkward at first, but the more you do it, the easier it will become. You should attend alumni events, contact alumni specifically in the fields you are interested in, and ask to speak and meet with them about their education and career journey. Most people will be happy and flattered to offer advice to you. Just be sure to send a thank you note to them for sharing their time and expertise.
Update your resume
When was the last time you updated your resume? Update your resume to emphasize your skills. A resume can effectively present your background and distinguish you from other job seekers by detailing your skills and training, work experience, education, and most importantly, your accomplishments.
Be confident in your skills! Any internship is lucky to have you!