Tips for Finding a Summer Internship
These past few weeks have gone by so quickly—I can’t believe my last post was in October! This semester has been pretty rough. Between taking 6 classes, trying to iron out study abroad details, finding someone to sublease my apartment, interviewing for summer internships, and trying to stay healthy, blogging unfortunately had to take the backseat.
That being said, I’m happy to share that I’ve accepted a summer internship offer that I’m truly excited about. Junior year is known to be a bit of a whirlwind because everyone wants to find the perfect internship that ideally leads to a full-time offer, and recruiting starts pretty early (around August or September at most schools.) I’m certainly no expert, but here are some insights I can offer, having survived the internship hunt this year:
- Start early: It seems crazy to start thinking about summer internships as soon as school starts in the fall, but it really does help to have a head start. Even if you’re not entirely sure where you want to intern, doing your research early on allows you to have more options and prepare accordingly.
- Network: Reach out to any friends or family you may know—if you’re interested in a specific company or industry, definitely reach out to university alumni as well. It might feel awkward reaching out to random strangers, but there’s no harm in sending a quick email or LinkedIn message asking for 15 minutes of their time to talk about your interest in a certain field.
- Take advantage of on-campus resources: There are numerous information sessions, career fairs and interview preparation resources available to students throughout the year. The College of Business uses iLink, which provides easy access to information on company visits and open job applications. Business Career Services has some really useful tips on their website for interview preparation, as well.
- Look for diversity or leadership conferences: A lot of companies reach out to underrepresented minorities or underclassmen through uniquely tailored programs. I’ve attended a couple of conferences directed towards women in finance—these are a great opportunity to learn more about the culture of a company and start building relationships with the people who work there.
I know this isn’t the most extensive list, but these are just some of the things I’ve learned along the way. As a general tip, I’d say that it’s important to stay open-minded. Internships are ultimately a way for students to figure out what they want to do after graduation, so feel free to experiment and venture outside of your comfort zone while the stakes are low. I know the process can seem daunting, but it’ll be worth it once it’s over!