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Find an Internship

Why should I do an internship?
When should I do an internship?
What should I consider when looking for internships?
How do I search for opportunities?
How can I stay organized while I search and apply for internships?
How do I write my resume and cover letter?
How should I prepare for interviews?
AHSS Summer Internship Grant 

Internship is an eye opener for this student:

Why should I do an internship?

An internship provides relevant, real world work experience in a career field of interest. Internships are a valuable way to learn about a job or career and determine if it is a good "fit" for your skills and interests. During your internship you learn things about an industry and job function that you could never learn without seeing and doing the work every day. You will also meet people who can help you connect to other companies, industries or job functions that interest you.

Having an internship on your resume demonstrates that you have work-related knowledge and skills, increases your marketability and, if you perform well in your internship, offers you the opportunity to land a full-time job at your internship site.

When should I do an internship?

It's never too early to do an internship! You can start as early as the summer after your first year of college, but it's crucial for you to have a solid, well-targeted internship the summer after your junior year. You should aim to have at least two internships before you graduate.

A common misconception among college students is that you can only do internships during the summer, but there are many great internship opportunities in the Denver metro area during the school year.  Check Pioneer Careers for the latest listing of internships in the area.

What should I consider when looking for internships?

Before you start your search, create a list of your most important criteria for an internship. Talk with a DU career counselor who can help you determine a strategy for your internship search.  Consider:

  • Pay: Do you need to be paid for your internship or can you take an unpaid position? If taking an unpaid internship is possible, you will find more potential opportunities.  If the internship is not paid, can you receive academic credit for your internship? DU offers stipends for students pursuing internships: ask your adviser about how to apply.
  • Location: Where do you want to work? Should you go back to your hometown and live with your family? Can you live in a different city if you find inexpensive housing?
  • Career Industry or Function: What industry and/or job function do you want to target? Are you aware of all of the possible options? What is the best way to learn more about your industries or functions of choice?
  • Timing/Deadlines: While it's never too early to start looking for an internship, there are a few important issues to be aware of:
    • For some extraordinarily competitive fields, you must plan ahead and compete to get relevant summer internships during the summers after sophomore and junior year.  In many cases, firms in these industries look for a 3.5 GPA or higher.
    • Government agencies like the CIA, NSA, and the State Department require background checks that can take months.  As a result, the deadline for summer internships is in the fall of the year before the internship.  (e.g. The application deadline for a summer 2014 internship could be as early as October 1, 2013.)
  • Organization: What kind of culture are you looking for? Will you receive much manager attention and guidance from your supervisor? Will there be an opportunity to develop a relationship with a mentor?

How do I search for opportunities?

Now that you have a better idea of what kind of internship you're looking for, check out the resources below to jump-start your search:

  • Network – start connecting with people who work in your areas of interest (career field, company, or industry) and ask for an informational interview. Networking is the best way to learn about careers and companies and actually land an internship.
  • University of Denver Alumni – use LinkedIn to find DU alumni and contact them to do an informational interview.
  • Internship websites – try these websites which list multiple internship resources.

How can I stay organized while I search and apply for internships?

Expect that finding an internship will be labor-intensive. You will need to keep applying and interviewing until you land an offer, which can mean 20 applications or more. As you begin to fill out applications and submit resumes consider using this Tracking Tool to help you keep all of your opportunities and contacts in order.

How do I write my resume and cover letter?

A targeted resume and cover letter is key to presenting yourself professionally and landing an interview. Here are complete guides to writing both your resume and cover letter. Drop in for Career Services' daily Resume and Cover Letter Reviews so we can help you perfect these important documents.

We also recommend creating a LinkedIn profile (Learn about networking through LinkedIn).  It's one more way to present yourself to employers and it can make a significant difference.

How should I prepare for interviews?

When it comes to interviews remember to prepare and practice.

Prepare by researching the company and the position and think about the interview from the employer's perspective. What are they looking for in a candidate and what kinds of questions will they ask to determine if you're a good fit? Practice by scheduling a mock interview with a career counselor or practice on your own with Interview Stream. Remember that the more you prepare and practice, the more confident and successful you will be.

CLICK HERE for more information on resumes and interviewing

AHSS Summer Internship Grant

AHSS is not yet accepting applications for the grants available to AHSS students in spring 2015. We will begin accepting applications in winter quarter.

2015 Summer Internship Grant provides funding to AHSS students enrolled in for-credit internships in summer 2015. Up to three students will receive up to $3,000 each. Funded by the AHSS Dean's Fund for Excellence.  The internship must be for academic credit within AHSS.  

 **Source: Wake Forest Career Services, 2013