How to Land Your First Internship

Summer internship – an excellent way to get job experience while still in college

The comfort and safety of winter break has faded, and the unwelcome feeling of reality is back. Summer break seems like it’s light years away, but if you’re planning on doing an internship when May rolls around, it’s time to start applying.

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The summer between my freshman and sophomore year, I had no idea what I wanted to do. I used this as an excuse to skip out on applying to internships for that summer, when in reality that is the best reason to apply to an internship. Sure, learning things from your professor and the textbook is great, but you never know what a career is actually like until you experience it for yourself.

If this is your first time applying to a summer internship, don’t worry – here are some good places to start.


Not to sound like your mom here, but if you don’t have a LinkedIn account, get one. Immediately.

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Once you start making connections and applying for positions, you can see if you know anyone who works for the company you’re applying to work for. This can be a huge asset, because a large part of finding an internship is who you know. If you see that you know someone who works for the company you’d like to intern with, ask them if they can ensure that your resume gets in front of the right people.

Not to mention, their job search function is easy and reliable.

Your campus career center

A lot of students don’t think to use their career center until their last semester, when they’re applying to jobs. However, many campus career centers offer plenty of resources to internship seeking students.

Most offer resume and cover letter reviews, practice interviews, and even job websites for companies that want to hire interns from your specific school.

Who you know

Professors are a great asset, but they’re not the only contacts you should rely on, especially if this is your first internship.

Your parents, neighbors, your friends parents, older classmates, cousins, siblings – someone knows someone who has your dream job, and I’m sure they would be happy to put you in contact with the right person.

Applying for internships can seem daunting, but just take a deep breath, make sure to have someone peer review your resume, and start searching.

RELATED: College cost-saving tip: see your advisor!

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