Selecting an Internship
Updated: Apr 28, 2021
Consider these three sets of information in order to be successful during your internship search and beyond.
Step 1: Self
1. “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
2. 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?
Step 2: Curriculum
1. 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.
2. Gather information from the following resources
Career Services staff
Peer Advisors (current/previous interns)
3. Narrow down your choices
What criteria do you need to know when selecting an internship? Consider the following:
Type of experience
Timing or number of hours per week
4. 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.)
Step 3: World of Work
1. 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 everyday
Create a professional voicemail message on your cell phone
Refine your online identify
2. 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
3. Prepare for the interview
Practice your elevator pitch
Visit VikingResources.org 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