Internships are an increasingly important part of the college experience. According to the NACE Job Outlook Survey, more than 70% of employers prefer to hire candidates with relevant work experience, and a majority of employers prefer that experience to come through an internship or co-op. Internships provide students with opportunities to build valuable skills and utilize what they have learned in the classroom. 

Getting Started

Assess yourself
Prepare yourself
Research and create a plan

Check out pages 4-6 of our Career Guide to reflect on your interests and goals. If you’d like to go deeper in assessment, check out our FOCUS 2 tool, or speak with a coach about additional assessments.

Begin to craft a resume that accurately conveys your unique skills and qualities. Great resumes are highly specific to your experiences and focus on results. Consult our Career Guide for a variety of samples. Visit the Career Center for a Drop-in or make an appointment to have your resume reviewed.

Research is one of the most important components of an internship search. Use our resources to discover current postings and research potential new employers. The goal of research is to tailor your resume and cover letter to highlight your best fit for an individual position. Here's a sample game plan for finding opportunities:

  • Consult Career Center resources such as HandshakeCareer Shift, and LinkedIn to identify 5-10 organizations that meet your criteria. Research the mission, services, and potential opportunities at these organizations.
  • If there are no current internship opportunities posted, work with a career coach to develop talking points for reaching out to new contacts or alumni at these organizations to gather details.
  • Develop a tailored resume and cover letter that positions you as the best fit for the opportunity. Get it reviewed by a career coach and other trusted advisors.
  • Apply for the opportunity in a timely fashion and practice for an interview. Mock interviews are available with career coaches and through our Big Interview tool.

What to Look for When Applying for an Internship

There’s a wide variety of internships and it is important to take the time when deciding which internship is the best fit for you. Below are a few tips to help you navigate your internship search and decide if an internship aligns with your career path.

Signs of a Well-Structured Internship

Signs of a Poorly-Structured Internship

Finding Internships in Handshake

Handshake is the university-wide internship and professional job database. Students can access Handshake by clicking here and entering their AccessNet username and password.
A few helpful tips for finding the right internship in Handshake:

  • Fill out Your Career Interest Profile.
  • Click on “Jobs” and use the Filter tool and keyword search function.
  • Make sure to “Favorite” employers to ensure you are updated when they post internship opportunities.

Making the Most Out of Your Internship

Your internship is an opportunity to gain real-world experience while applying what you have learned in the classroom. Make the right impression by following our helpful tips.