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How to Select an Internship

Updated: Apr 10, 2023

In order to find an internship or job opportunity that’s right for you, it takes a little personal inventory and some research. Below are questions you need to ask yourself, and prompts we recommend you follow.

“Why do I want an internship?”

Answering this question will help you:

  • Focus your search

  • Articulate your learning objectives to potential employers

  • Consider your long term career goals

Evaluate yourself to better direct your search

  • Personal Interests: What do you enjoy doing? What issues are you passionate about?

  • Academic Interests: What do you desire to learn or experience?

  • Career or Grad School Goals: Do you see yourself entering the workforce, or continuing your education?

  • Work Values: What is important to you? What rewards do you seek?

  • Skills: What skills and previous experience do you have to offer? What skills do you want to develop or enhance?

Do you understand what career opportunities are available in a given field?

  • What competencies/skills/knowledge are most desired?

  • What coursework or certifications might be necessary?

  • What might a typical path look like in your field?

  • What issues are likely to affect the future of this profession?

    • To help you answer this question, conduct Informational Interviews.

Gather information from the following resources

Narrow down your choices

What criteria do you need to know when selecting an internship? Consider the following:

  • Type of experience

  • Organizational mission

  • Geographic location

  • Pay

  • Reputation

  • Product

  • Academic credit

  • Timing or number of hours per week

After Researching… Evaluate

  • Develop a list of 10-30 organizations to target

  • Consider how they align with your goals and criteria

  • Determine if you meet the organization’s requirements (class year, major, skills, etc.)

Get organized

  • Organize a binder or folder specifically for your search

  • Establish a method for tracking your outreach and applications

  • Dedicate time to your search every day

  • Create a professional voicemail message on your cell phone

  • Refine your online identify

Compile basic tools

  • Visit Career Services for a Resume Review; tailor your resume for each position you apply to

  • Create a LinkedIn profile

  • Develop a cover letter that specifically addresses the qualifications outlined in the job description

Prepare for the interview

  • Practice your elevator pitch

  • Visit to review interview tips and potential questions

  • Attend a Mock Interview Day or schedule a Mock Interview with Career Services staff

  • Develop a list of thoughtful questions to ask the employer

  • Select appropriate attire for interviews. For ideas, visit our Pinterest, linked on the homepage of our website


  • Write and send a handwritten thank-you note to each interviewer

  • Follow up consistently via email and phone call

  • Broaden your search as needed

Click Below to Download the PDF

Selecting an Internship
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