Internships are a key way students learn outside the classroom. An internship can help shape your career trajectory, expand your professional network, build your resume, and bolster your chances of securing a good job after graduation. If you’re interested in internships but unsure how to get one, you’re not alone! This page can help you get started.
Advice & Strategy:
- Everything you need to know about internships (infographic)
- Exploring internships
- Finding internships
- Creating internships
- Evaluating internships
- Maximizing internships
Reflect on what you want out of an internship:
- Learn a new skill or practice a skill you recently learned
- Apply your classroom learning in a real-world setting
- Experience a new sector, industry, or work setting
- Explore an interesting career path
- Get your foot in the door at a specific organization
Think about logistics:
- Many internships are paid but some are not. How important is pay to you?
- Do you want to pay for and earn academic credit for the learning that takes place in your internship? It’s completely optional.
- Internships can happen anytime of the year. When can you squeeze in a 10-15 hour a week internship?
Look for internships:
- Contacts – get referrals from friends, family, professors, advisers, etc.
- Events – employer information sessions and departmental, university, and regional fairs
- Online – HuskyJobs, UW departmental websites, employer websites, internship clearinghouse sites, internet keyword searches, etc.
- Create your own – approach an organization you feel passionate about with a proposal stating how you could benefit them and what you could learn from them
Get your materials together:
- Draft and polish a resume, cover letter, intro email, and thank you email.
- The importance of these documents cannot be overstated. Take them seriously. Make sure they are error-free and tailored to specific internships.
- Does the internship involve meaningful work or just menial tasks?
- Does the employer seem committed to providing ongoing supervision and feedback?
- Is the employer willing to help you create learning goals?
Have a stellar internship experience:
- Look for learning opportunities in every task and don’t be afraid to ask questions
- Take initiative, look for ways to contribute, and follow-through
- Put yourself out there and meet others
- Communicate clearly and regularly with your supervisor
- Be professional, punctual, and positive
- Reflect on what you learned and how to articulate that to future employers