In a Sea of Internships, Where Do You Even Begin?

By: Kendra Paro, Account Associate for First Pick


Image Credit: smallvoices.org

The word internship can be very frightening to undergraduate students. I am constantly being asked about past internships, if I have an internship this summer, and the answer has always left me feeling lost. Last summer, I chose to go on an amazing adventure abroad and as a result, I didn’t have an internship. While I had an incredible experience traveling, I know that it is imperative that I secure an internship this upcoming summer.

I do not have a ton of experience at looking for internships and I’ve been struggling to discover opportunities that are best suited for me. One of the first resources that I utilized was Bob Martin, the Assistant Dean for the Office of Internships and Career Placement for Penn State’s College of Communications.  His daily emails detailing various companies seeking applicants are a lifesaver! However, prior to this semester, email notifications were the only resource that I was using and it didn’t seem to be enough. I was struggling to find an internship opportunity that aligned with my interests and I kept thinking, “Where do I even look next?”

I’ve discovered that there are many channels to look for career opportunities. As a Penn State student, the university provides a variety of resources for career placement. To start, the College of Communications internship advisors have helped me find several companies that are tailored specifically to my interests and experience level. While they provided me with the names of companies, it was up to me to conduct research and to see if they were hiring. Next, Nittany Lion Career Network posts many internships on their website. Though the site must be navigated to fit your needs, I still found a couple opportunities that interested me. Some of the jobs they post are not applicable to undergraduates and it was a little frustrating having to sort through entire job posting before finding this restriction. However, I still found this outlet to be worthwhile–you never know what you might come across!

Recently, I have been utilizing the job search tool on LinkedIn. I know many people might be familiar with this, but I’m fairly new to this handy feature. Using LinkedIn is very interesting because you can cross-reference companies with education and previous employers.

Finally, I have been looking at Indeed.com. Using this site, I’ve had the most success finding the types of internships that I’m interested in. It shows a wide range of opportunities in almost every city that I searched. I would recommend this platform because it is easy to navigate and has countless job postings from all industries.

Although the internship application process can seem daunting, I’ve found the most success when utilizing the massive amounts of resources one at a time! None of these career channels are going to hand you your dream internship, but the key to navigating these sites is digging deep to find something that excites you! I’ve applied to several internships, but the ones that I’m the most passionate about are the applications that I put the most effort into. Those are the applications that are going to stand out to recruiters.

There you have it! Be patient, do your research, and you should find the internship that suits you best!

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