Finding an internship involves the same steps as any other employment search. In fact, internship-hunting is a great way to develop and practice skills that you will use throughout your career.
The one distinction that sets an internship search apart from other employment searches is that the primary goal of a successful internship is intended to be a learning experience, designed to broaden awareness of a career field and specific jobs within that field. This means that it is important for a student to work with his/her faculty sponsor and the Office of Career Services to help determine the specific learning objectives and desired skills development that are likely to result from a particular internship experience.
As with any job search, whether it is for a part-time job, a summer job, or for a post-graduate position, there are three basic strategies to engage in during an internship search:
- Identify RESOURCES where internship openings are listed, with details about the responsibilities of the work involved, the desired skills and background of a successful candidate, and the process for applying for the position.
- Identify ORGANIZATIONS that are engaged in the type of work you would like to be doing, even if you are uncertain as to whether they hire interns or have any openings. Approach them directly with your qualifications and the type of learning experience you are hoping to find.
- Utilize your NETWORK of faculty, friends, relatives and their business associates and ask them for guidance and resources that will lead to the type of internship experience you are hoping to find. Colby alumni are an excellent resource to add to your network (see “Alumni Directory” below).
The Career Center offers a variety of online resources that relate directly to the basic strategies outlined above. Students should also consider visiting the Career Center in person and meeting with one of the career counselors to discuss their overall internship goals and to be introduced to the online resources.
- Colby CareerLink is Colby’s proprietary database of job and internship listings.
- General Announcements
- The LACN Database is a database of internship openings developed by a consortium of 29 liberal arts colleges, called the Liberal Arts Career NetWORK, of which Colby is a member. The database can be searched using a variety of parameters, including career field and geographic region.
- Through LACN, Colby students can also access the Nationwide Internship Consortium (NIC) database, which provides additional listings.
- LinkedIn Colby College Alumni & Friends Portal
- Other LinkedIn groups related to professional interests
- Facebook, Twitter, blogs
- InternMatch is a free listing resource that helps students find internship opportunities. InternMatch highlights paid and summer internships while having a leading list of start up and non-profit positions.
- Internships USA offers an online collection of internship directories in a variety of categories, including internships in Washington, DC, human rights internships, sports internships, museum internships, and many other options.
- Please note, access to Internships USA is limited to members of the Colby community. The above link will prompt you for a password – if you wish to obtain access, please contact the Career Center.
- Intern Hub (for internships in the Boston area)
- InternHelpME (for internships in Maine)
- Industry-specific sites/databases
- Career Center Library – Open Monday-Friday, 9:00 am-5:00 pm
- Newspapers, journals and other periodicals from professional associations
- Call or email organizations (HR departments, department management) to ask about available positions
- Send letters of interest – Please consult the Career Center on appropriate language and protocol
- Spotlight on Careers is a collection of web sites designed to give students an overview of 28 different career fields. Each site provides numerous links to related resources, and several sites provide links which list internship opportunities.
- LinkedIn Colby College Alumni & Friends Portal
- Other LinkedIn groups – engage in discussions within groups
- Twitter – follow organizations of interest and participate in chats related to professional interests
- Personal Network – family, friends, family friends, friends’ families, co-workers
- Professional/Academic Network – former/current supervisors, professors, advisers, coaches
- Professional associations – search for industry groups and join associations relevant to your career interests. Attend events hosted by the associations.
- Colby Alumni Community – Colby alumni are an excellent resource for career guidance and referrals that can ultimately lead to internship opportunities. The use of the Alumni Community will be greatly enhanced by spending a brief session with a career counselor, where you can learn both the techniques for searching the database as well as strategies for how to approach alumni for assistance.
- Professional Networking Portal on Colby CareerLink