Internship Search Strategies
To secure an internship, you’ll learn to use the same search strategies needed for job searching throughout your career.
Identifying Possible Internships
Once you have a basic idea of career fields and functional roles you want to explore, you’re ready to start the internship search.
MEET WITH AN INTERNSHIP SPECIALIST: The Office of Internships team in the Center for Integrative Learning hosts internship information sessions and meets with students one-on-one to aid them in the internship process. They can brainstorm options in the fields that interest you and share examples of previous internships students have done related to your interest.
MAJOR POSSIBILITIES: See examples of internships and full-time jobs other Pirates with your major have pursued through these major-specific resources.
HIRESU: SU’s online job board for students and alumni, HireSU, contains current internship postings, as well as full-time and part-time jobs. Not every internship that exists gets posted here, but it’s a good place to start.
PIRATECONNECT AND LINKEDIN: Networking is the most powerful job search strategy, and that’s true for internships. PirateConnect is the virtual home of SU’s Career Communities, featuring numerous specific opportunities posted to the community discussion boards. In addition, you can identify specific alumni and other students with experience with specific employers or fields that interest you. Reach out and ask them for advice! LinkedIn, with more than 750 million users world-wide, broadens the reach of your networking opportunities. Even just reading profiles can give you ideas about organizations to explore for internship opportunities.
RESEARCH AND DIRECTLY CONTACT EMPLOYERS: The Internet is a great research tool. Search for strings like “Austin television stations” to identify employers who do the kind of work that interests you in the geographic location of your choice. Then go directly to employers’ own sites, where they’re most likely to advertise internships if they do so at all. Look for “About Us,” “Jobs,” “Careers,” “Employment,” etc.
Key Factors in Securing an Internship
TIMING: Begin well in advance of the application deadline to prepare materials (transcripts, recommendations, and writing samples may be required, for example) and fine-tune your resume.
TARGETING YOUR SEARCH: Remember that needle in the haystack? It’s very difficult to search for any job anywhere. Even at the internship stage it’s wise to prioritize among the various possible career paths that interest you and focus on one possibility at a time. Not sure what interests you? Meet with a career advisor in the Center for Career & Professional Development for self-assessment exploration to research your personality, interests, and values, and see what kinds of careers people who are similar to you are often found in.
RESEARCH: In-depth research of the organization is time-consuming but will pay off when writing a cover letter and in the interview process, not to mention helping you evaluate the fit of a prospective site to your interests and abilities.
ATTITUDE/MOTIVATION: In addition to specific criteria articulated on a resume (e.g. GPA, major, previous experience), hiring managers use cover letters and interviews to gauge an applicant’s motivation and energy. Organizations want interns who are mature, self-motivated, professional, and who maintain a high level of energy.