3 Ways I Found Internships
By Leya Aronoff
Does it feel like you cannot find internships? It is challenging to find an internship that excites you, let alone get an offer. Despite the challenge, every summer for the past 3 years I have managed to lock down an internship, each time through different avenues.
First Summer: Family Connections
By April of freshman year, I wanted exciting summer internships. But I was signed up for a summer class at a local college. So I couldn’t apply for a formal internship program with set dates, which limited my options.
One weekend, my dad asked me what I wanted to do in the summer. I mentioned that I was interested in marketing, but I didn’t have relevant experiences nor knew where to start. He mentioned that one of our family friends runs a toy company and hires marketing interns. I called him up, explained my interests, and explained my summer class situation. At the end of the call, he offered the internship, which I promptly accepted.
Key Takeaways -
Do not discount people within your network already. You may not think of your family as your network, but they may know someone who can get you a closer to where you want to be. Especially when formal programs may overlook your application because you are a first year, it is useful to tap into your existing network.
Second Summer: Job Posting Website
I had postponed looking for my sophomore internship for as long as I could because it felt like every internship was for juniors. When I started searching in January, I learned everything I could about our job posting site Handshake, set up my profile, and applied to several internships.
I came across a startup that sought to host entrepreneurship camps all across the east coast for middle school girls in underserved cities. They offered 2 internship positions: operations & logistics role and an entrepreneurship teaching role. Even though it felt strange, I ended up sending 2 applications, each tailored specifically to the 2 roles.
After one phone interview and one video interview, she offered a different internship all together. Although initially confused, as the recruiter explained the role, the position felt tailored for me. After reviewing the offer letter with my career counselor, I accepted the internship and started working for them part time in early April before working full time in June.
Key Takeaways -
Don’t be afraid to send multiple applications to the same company.
Work with your recruiter to ensure both you and your recruiter get what you want from your internship search. During the interview process, show the recruiter what you are looking for. They may see something in you and want to provide you with the experience you are looking for.
Third Summer: Word of Mouth
In September, the notorious junior internship search hit me like a ton of bricks. I went to many info sessions and career fairs, no matter how uninteresting they seemed. I applied to 19 internships on Handshake before November in many industries. I had a couple interviews, but never got past the first round.
At the time, I was also a First Year Guide (FYG). In November, it was advertised to all FYGs that the First Year Programs (FYP) team was searching for 2 FYP Interns for the next academic year. I was excited by the role and submitted my application via email. After an interview, I was offered the internship. I started the role part time the following January, worked full time during the summer, and wrapped up my internship part time in March.
Key Takeaways -
Your junior internship does not have to lead to a full time offer to be worthwhile. I gained many skills on the FYP team, all of which I showcased during my full time job search and interview process. Yes, I applied to many companies. But, by showcasing my FYP experience, I ended up accepting an offer by fall break.
Don’t discount on-campus internships or others that you know won’t lead to that full time offer. Learn as much as you can from the experience and shine during your full time search.
Concluding Thoughts -
You may use these same methods, but you also might find opportunities elsewhere. The challenge is noticing the ones that are right in front of your nose, like through family connections and word of mouth. Keep an open mind when you go about your internship search because there are opportunities everywhere.