By Claire Klieger
I’ve been seeing lots of students who are still looking for internships and worried that it may be too late. Fear not, there are still lots of great opportunities (Yes, really—no, not just “the bottom of the barrel” stuff) out there. In fact, last year 46% of college students did not secure their summer internships until April or May, according to the Summer 2009 Survey Report. For some industries like entertainment, summer internships often crop up very last minute (especially mid-late May) so don’t feel like if you haven’t got your summer plans set yet that you’re doomed to working at your local movie theatre or mall food court.
SEARCH STRATEGIES – GET INDUSTRY SPECIFIC
Part of the issue is being unsure of where to look. Certainly, iNet and PennLink are good places to start and new internship openings get posted there every day. Keep in mind that you can set up either system to email you when new things get posted that
meet your interests by doing an advanced search and saving it as a search agent, which you can then set to run however often you’d like.
However, when you’re looking for something specific, your internship search can sometimes feel like looking for a needle in a hay stack—it can become overwhelming sifting through hundreds of postings looking for what you want. So, it’s important to search smart (like using the search agents in PennLink). One of the best ways to do this is by looking for opportunities on industry specific websites. For example, if you’re interested in media, you should be looking on mediabistro ; if something at an international NGO is what you seek, Idealist is an excellent place to look; should you be really into rocks, getgeologyjobs.com is probably your slice of heaven. To learn more about industry specific resources, look on Career Services’ “Career Resources by Field” page and come talk to one of us.
SEEK ADVICE FROM THOSE WHO WORK IN YOUR FIELDS OF INTEREST and NETWORK
That said, some of the best advice both on where to look and how to market yourself comes from others who work in the field. So, take advantage of those Penn connections and start talking to Penn alums who have the kinds of jobs you think are interesting. Remember that everyone on PACNet, our alumni database, has volunteered to be contacted with questions (though, please, don’t make that question, “hey, can I have an internship where you work?”).
Talk to your peers as well. By searching the Penn Internship Network, you can connect with current students who have said they are willing to talk about their summer 2009 experiences which can be a great way to find out how someone found an internship and possibly to get an employer contact.
GENERAL & GEOGRAPHIC– SPECIFIC RESOURCES
Other good general internship search resources include simplyhired and indeed where you can put in a job title (e.g.“public relations intern”) and location (e.g. “Boston”). If you know you want to be in a specific area like say….New York (I know, shocking), you can look on ReferenceUSA for employers (and can target specific industries) in the New York Area and target your search on specific websites. GoinGlobal (accessible for free through our online subscriptions page) offers city specific resources for job or internship searching so even if your top choice for the summer is Austin, Texas, you’ll have some good ideas for how you can look. If you’re not really sure what you want, you might try subscribing to something like One Day, One Internship, a daily blog written by a recent (though not Penn) grad that highlights internships at a different company each day.
The point is…there are tons of great resources out there so don’t give up hope on your internship search–It’s just a matter of figuring out where to apply and continuing to send out applications. If you have questions about your individual search feel free to come talk to us.