Internships are important, but finding the right one can be an intimidating process. Before you start, it’s important to know what you want to do. Ask yourself what your desired goal and experience is: do you want to come out of this with a job offer or just testing the waters? A full-time commitment or just a few hours a week?
The type of company — whether it’s corporate or local, a startup or a nonprofit — will provide different experiences in terms of how much you can contribute and what your role will be. Take some time to think about what your dream internship looks like, and use those answers to help guide your search.
Where to Find Internships
If you’re looking for an internship, Localwise (the site you're on now!) is a great tool. New opportunities are posted daily at local startups, fashion boutiques and nonprofits. Sort by location to find an internship that's close to home or school. Localwise also has resources about how to format resumes, tips on writing cover letters (in case this is your first time!) and interview preparation tips.
2. Look Sharp
Look Sharp offers job seekers the opportunity to put in category and location preference and then matches you with relevant offers in the area, and just in case you're not totally sure what you're looking for, browse the "popular internship" category.
With currently has more than 163,000 internships from more than 101, 000 companies in more than 8,200 cities listed, there’s no shortage of opportunities. Internships.com's quick questionnaire helps narrow those options related to your major and desired location. They have a specific search for summer internships if you’re looking to focus on a shorter summer stint.
4. The Muse
The Muse is a beautiful Pinterest-type layout that lists opportunities from big companies with name recognition. You can “heart” your favorites and save them, or even send opportunities to friends who might be a better fit than your for a job.
Want to explore a career in advertising, communications, journalism, or PR? Mediabistro is the go-to site for media-specific opportunities and internships. The site also includes media-specific career advice so you can learn all about the ins and outs of the industry.
6. Good Food Jobs
If you’re hungry to get involved in the food world, Good Food Jobs is the site for you. For future farmers, restaurateurs, local food activists, or cheesemakers, this is the mecca for food jobs and internships. Find a great gig here and you’ll also find a community of food-loving people.
7. Intern Queen
Intern Queen is the brainchild of Laura Berger who wants to connect people like you to the internship of your dreams. Best of all, the search format of her site lets students choose the semester they are looking for an internship, so if you’re a college student, this site's a gem.
Calling all changemakers! If you’re someone who wants to do good, Idealist is a great place to start your search. The site lists thousands of positions that let you take action and list internships for organizations who are changing the world. Search through the listings to get inspired and then find the cause you want to join.
Photo Credit: Masa Israel Journey
How to Find Internships
9. Look directly on company website for posted jobs
On the bottom of most company’s pages is a tab that says something like “careers” or "hiring”. This is a great place to see what kind of positions are posted — either careers or internships — and their page will be more up to date than any other job listing site.
10. Reach out to desired company to ask if they are hiring
Even if no jobs listed on the company website are a match, it’s worth reaching out to see if they are looking for an intern. A company might be so new they haven’t yet listed all jobs, or you might have some skills they didn’t even know they needed.
11. Reach out to a local startup incubator
Lean startups are fast moving and often don't have the time to look for interns. Reaching out to a local incubator is a great way to find companies who need some help.
Plus, the benefit of working for a lean team in early stages means you’ll get to do work that matters. They'll be able to give you the down-low on what different companies are doing and what might be the best fit.
12. School job board/career center
Your school might have a traditional job board (as in a bulletin board with job postings) but it's more likely that there is an online board or career center.Alumni and local businesses often post on these sites and career counselors at school can help you get connected. Many of these counselors take appointments and might know about opportunities that aren’t yet posted.
13. Local government website
Governments hire many interns every year — even the White House has an internship program. If you’re looking to work in a government position (attention future presidents!), check out the local government website. A great place to start is the website for the office of the mayor.
Photo Credit: Maryland GovPics
14. Find your friends on LinkedIn
LinkedIn is a great place to see what people you know are up to and where they have worked. LinkedIn is meant for connecting and networking (not just spying) and it’s a great way to get connected to internships. Use it to see where your friends have interned and ask them for an intro. Companies are more likely to give you a look (and a chance) if someone that worked for them has recommended you.
15. Network on LinkedIn
Messaging on LinkedIn is the new cold call. Message people who work at companies you’re interested in joining and ask for an informational interview. Find people you want to work under or reach out to hiring managers who are in-the-know about what a company is looking for.
16. Google search
You use Google one hundred times a day anyway, so you might as well use it to find an internship. Yes, there are thousands of finds for generic searches like “public relations internship” but narrow it down a bit by using quotation marks and plus signs (e.g., “public relations internships + tech companies + San Francisco”) and you’ll narrow it down a bit.
17. Tap into your network
You might not want to jump into the same career as your parents, but someone in your family or friends might know someone who can hook you up with a great internship. Older adults in your life are great resources for connecting you to cool opportunities. With age comes wisdom... and sweet, sweet connections.