Where to Start Looking
As a university student, it is no secret that there are two factors which determine the trajectory of post-college career prospects–a transcript and internships. Internships serve as introductory work experience to a student’s respective field of study which in turn become great sources of employer references and additions to a student’s resume. Not only do internships give someone a better understanding of what that field looks like in real time but they also provide a solid foundation that boosts one’s access to future career opportunities.
One of the most effective places to find internships is actually through your school. The amazing thing about school postings is that it is more likely that these job listings are department based, therefore there is a smaller pool of applicants and less competition for the position. School-wide postings can create a massive influx of applications for a single internship and online listings resemble more of a black hole when it comes to submitting your resume and cover letter due to the sheer amount of students searching for the same opportunity via the same websites. Sign up for department newsletters which frequently share internship postings specifically reaching out to your school and decide if you meet their criteria. On top of newsletters, your department most likely shares job openings through bulletin boards both on campus and through their website. If your school uses platforms such as Handshake, you can find internships specifically for university students and the database will share opportunities that match your major.
When to Start Applying
Much like college application season, internship application season also comes and goes with its high and low points. For example, often the majority of internships students will see are specifically for the summer due to their packed schedules during the academic year therefore it is best to start applying months in advance. However, as a result of summer internships being the most common they are also the most popular, therefore the mass influx of applications can create competition for the same positions. Since positions begin to fill up during the spring before finals season, anytime between March and May, it is best to begin applying at the start of the new year during the winter and if you are in a highly competitive field such as marketing, law, and communications begin considering different listing as early as November to get a head start.