Ways To Find an Internship

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You stand the best chance of finding the perfect internship if you employ several different strategies. Networking, attending career fairs, looking for internship listings online, and identifying potential employers through classified ads, the local Chamber of Commerce, or by searching online are all ways to begin conducting your internship search. Finding an internship requires time and planning, but the results are definitely worth the effort. Here are some recommendations for those seeking an internship.

Key Takeaways

  • If you're trying to find an internship, start searching months or weeks in advance of when you hope to start. Sometimes application deadlines are much earlier than you might think.
  • Network with professionals on campus, at events, and on LinkedIn to see if they can connect you with an internship at their company.
  • Internships can give you the experience that you may need in order to land a job in the future.

Start Your Internship Search Early

Be aware that certain industries and internships have early application deadlines. Some companies may recruit and hire as early as November for a summer internship. Beginning your internship search during winter break affords you additional lead time before the summer months. It can also give you the opportunity to make valuable connections with alumni or professionals within organizations of interest prior to returning to school. Check with your college's Career Services Office for assistance in finding out which internships recruit early.

Consider a Variety of Internships That Match Your Career Interests

Decide what you want to do, but don't worry about being too specific. Gaining experience in a number of career fields is a good idea if you are unsure about the career you want to pursue in the future.

Think about what you enjoy and how that might parlay into a career.  Do you enjoy watching shows on finance and investing? Home improvement? History? Are you interested in social activism and making a difference in the world? Then look for and apply to internships in those different fields. These can give you exposure to opportunities and a chance to sample new and exciting career fields.

Network With Everyone

Speak with family, friends, faculty, college advisors, and career counselors in the Career Services Office at your college about what type of internship you want and when and where you want to do it.

Contacting alumni from your college and doing informational interviews can provide you with valuable information on career options and internships that you can pursue. Be sure to send a thank you note to them for sharing their time and expertise.


If you're interested in internships at certain companies, connect with past interns or employees of those companies on LinkedIn. Send a note asking for any advice before you apply or if they'd be interested in grabbing a cup of coffee one day.

Use All the Online Resources

Your Career Services Office at your college will likely have recommended internship resources that you might use or subscribe to, but go deeper with your online search. From Internships.com and Indeed to more niche websites that list internships and jobs for specific industries, such as Mediabistro (for media and communications professionals), you should search far and wide for an internship.

You can also make a list of companies you admire and go directly to their websites to see if they have any internship openings. If they don't, try setting up a Google Alert that will send you an email any time an internship is posted online—just use the right keywords so you get quality alerts to your inbox.

Attend Career Fairs

Check with your Career Services Office at your college to identify career and/or internship fairs. Top employers attend career fairs to recruit, screen, and hire talented interns and employees. You can also attend conferences—both in person and online—to connect with recruiters who may be there speaking about tips for navigating your carer. They may be able to tell you if their company has any internship openings.


Before attending a career fair, prepared to give a 60-second introduction that describes how you can be of value to an employer. And be sure to follow up with any recruiters you meet at a fair.

Contact Employers

You can email, call, or visit local employers in your area to ask about summer jobs/internships. Again, be prepared to give a 60-second introduction that sells skills and explains how you can be of value.

Focus on summer jobs available and, if interested, consider camp or resort opportunities to gain additional interpersonal and communication skills. Temp agencies also provide information on the employment needs of local employers. Be sure to follow up with employers whenever possible to arrange an in-person or telephone interview.

Start Your Own Small Business To Gain Experience

Do you have special skills or a way of meeting a market need? As a high school or college student, you could start a small business to get experience. You could leverage this experience to get more internships and jobs in the future. Future employers are sure to be impressed by your initiative and hard work. This small business could also open up your network and connect you with employers and companies that may want to hire you as an intern.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How do you find an internship while in high school?

High school students who want to apply for an internship will need the same thing as a college student: a resume with relevant coursework, skills, job experience, and more. Once your resume is written, look online for internships that interest you or connect with people in your network. As long as the internship doesn't require you to be a certain age in school, you can and should apply.

What are the best places to find an internship?

There are ton of websites you can look at for internships: Monster, Indeed, Glassdoor, LinkedIn, Mediabistro, and more. Use smart keyword searches like "journalism internships" or "marketing internships" to find websites that list internships for which you can apply. You should also check company websites, career job boards on campus or at your high school, and ask everyone you know if they know of internship openings.

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The Balance uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. University of Minnesota. "How To Find an Internship."

  2. San Diego State University. "How To Find an Internship."

  3. Mediabistro. "Welcome to Mediabistro."

  4. Google Search Help. "Create an Alert."

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