Published: April 8, 2019

Internships are a proven way to gain relevant knowledge, skills and experience in the field of work you’re interested in. Most employers say they are more likely to hire a student for a full-time position who has previous internship experience either at a specific organization or within the same industry. More than 59 percent of interns receive a job offer afterward.

So, how do you find the right experience for you? Here are a few tips from Career Services.

Group of professionals in a meetingDetermine what skills you want to learn

Start your internship search with intention. Think about the type of work you want to do and the expertise you currently possess. What skills can an internship help you to develop? Are there technical skills like programs or software that you want to learn? Or do you want to enhance soft skills like customer service, communication and leadership?

Map out what you want to gain from your internship so that you find the right fit. Check out LinkedIn’s list of professional skills that companies desire most to get started.

Search on legitimate internship boards

Career Services approves more than 100 internships a day on Handshake from employers across the country. There are currently 2,852 active internships on the platform that are ready for you to apply for.

Don’t have an account? Check out our tips for successfully setting up a profile that will catch an employer’s eye.

Make connections wherever you go

Whether you’re waiting in line at Starbucks or in a formal setting such as a career fair, building your network of connections is an essential part of the internship search. You never know what opportunities can come from talking with a stranger about their career. In fact, more than 85 percent of positions are filled through networking.

Making connections with alumni on LinkedIn or attending the Just in Time Career Fair can help!

Consider your finances

About 75 percent of the internships posted on Handshake are paid. This can range from an hourly rate or a monthly stipend and will depend on the number of hours you would be working, which can be anywhere from 10 to 40 hours. It’s important to weigh these options when considering an internship as it relates to your financial situation over the summer.

If you are just getting started, consider taking an unpaid internship if you can’t find paid opportunities that you qualify for so you can begin to build up your résumé.

Getting college credit

Every major has a different process for obtaining internship credit. It may also be a requirement for graduation. Check your major’s departmental website to see if it would be beneficial for you to receive credit. Some departments work directly with companies for internship credit, so you might find a great opportunity through your advisor or professor.

Use your on-campus resources

Did you know you have access to tons of resources through the Career Services office? Whether you’re just beginning your internship search, putting your résumé and cover letter together or feeling nervous about an interview, Career Services can help with every step of the way.

The best part? You don’t have to make an appointment. Just drop in between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and you can chat with a career development advisor about your internship needs.