find an internship
Obtaining an internship is
competitive and finding one may take a day or up to several months. Some
organizations have deadlines four to five months or more prior to the start
date of the internship. Others review applicants and make offers one to two
weeks before the start date. To have the most options, start your search early
and don’t stop applying for internships until you’ve accepted a position.
What steps are involved in finding an internship?Step 1: Work with your department
Step 2: Identify careers or organizations of interest
Contact your academic
department's internship contact
learn about earning credit if applicable.
Identifying organizations that support causes you believe in, make quality
products you purchase, or provide services of interest to you is a good way to
start. The more knowledge and enthusiasm you have about an organization, the
more you’ll impress them.Step 3: Prepare your application materialsStep 4: Search for leads
Step 5: Apply
- Search Handshake for
postings and on-campus interviewing opportunities
- Connect with internship employers at NAU career events
- Check other job or internship sources such as Indeed.com, Idealist.org, Internships.com or LinkedIn
- Speak with faculty, academic advisors and internship contacts in your department (some post internships on their academic
program web site or in their offices)
- Meet with an NAU Career Development advisor to get advice and help with your resume and cover letter, and to practice interview techniques
- Network with friends, family and acquaintances
Or, create your own internship!
Apply for internship
openings and prepare for interviews
It is also possible to
create your own internship by contacting employers in your field of interest
and describing your qualifications, interests and how you can contribute to
their success. Descriptions of existing internships are helpful to frame your discussion
with a possible internship host. Focus on the advantages to the organization in
adding an intern, such as having an extra person to assist with projects, offer
fresh perspectives on organizational issues and provide new ideas.
Specifics on how to do
- Be sure that your resume
reflects the knowledge, skills, and abilities that you will bring to the
- Do not wait until the
last minute. You need time to get your resume to the appropriate people.
- Research to create a
list of organizations you would like to work for, and be sure they have an area
or department that fits your interests. This takes some investigative skills.
- Find the appropriate
contact person. You may be able to identify this person through the
organization’s web site, LinkedIn, family or friends, or by simply calling and
asking to speak with someone about setting up an internship.
- When you contact the
person, explain specifically why you are interested in their organization, what
you want (setting up an internship that will utilize your interest in the
_________ field and your strong _________ skills), and what you will bring to
the organization, such as new ideas, assistance with current projects, and a
willingness to work hard.
when making your contacts:
- Don’t say, Do you have any internships
available? If they haven’t used interns before, their answer
will likely be no. Instead, describe your desire to work for the
organization in terms of setting up a “work experience” to learn more
about a specific career field.
- Ask if there are any projects they haven’t had time to
tackle, which you could complete while gaining experience in the
field. Share information about your skills or education that might
be of interest to them.
"The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams."
© 2011 Arizona Board of Regents for Arizona State University and Career Services.