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How to Find the Right Internship during the School Year

Finding an internship can be daunting, especially with the school year revving back up. However, there are plenty of resources out there that can help you not only find an internship, but find the right one for you. When people asked me when I was going to start looking for an internship, I didn’t know where to start. After finding one from a family member, I’ve learned plenty of resources that I could have taken advantage of as a student. It’s important that students find one that will fit into their schedule and provide them the experience they need to excel in their classes and potentially their career. Hopefully, these resources will help you find the internship opportunity you’ve been looking for.


1. Personal Connections

One of the most valuable resources you can utilize is your personal connections. Family members and friends are more than willing to help organize an interview with someone they know that’s in a position of power or at least expose you to networking opportunities. For example, my mother took me to a writer’s conference where she introduced me to a literary agent, whom I’ve worked with for over a year now. Although it can be tedious, networking is essential if you’re shopping around for internship opportunities.


2. Career Services

Career Services and UNC pulse are also great sources for information about internships around campus. After making an appointment, you can go to Career Services to organize internship opportunities and get more information about the job such as the location, expected hours, and description of what they’re looking for in an intern. Some internships are more intense than others, so make sure the internship fits in with your school schedule. For those who don’t have a car, I would recommend a remote internship that you can do from your dorm or apartment. Additionally, UNC Pulse consistently sends out emails about internship opportunities and provides contact information for students to take advantage of.


3. Internship and Job Fairs

Internship and job fairs are also great ways to shop around for opportunities. They’re a quick way of seeing several options for a variety of career fields. They can also be valuable for networking, as you make conversation with those who are representing companies. Those representatives want to pitch their company to you, making them a great resource for questions you may have about internship opportunities within that company. Plus, you get free swag a lot of the time — who doesn’t like free swag?


4. Take advantage of the opportunity!

After finding an internship, make sure to take advantage of the opportunity! UNC allows students 3 credit hours for taking part in an unpaid internship. In short, students will need an advisor to check their progress during the internship and they will also need to complete a paper at the end of the semester outlining what they gained from the experience. There are also certain classes that students can take that count as internships and are pass/fail. Make sure to check out advising for a list of internship classes and more information.


Which tips are you going to use?

A senior at UNC-Chapel Hill, Sabrina is a Journalism and English double-major hoping to turn her love for reading and writing into a career in publishing. When Sabrina isn't in classes or working at the Wilson Library on campus, she works as an intern at a boutique literary agency focused in Raleigh, NC.