We haven’t even kicked off fall semester and it’s time to look for 2018 summer internships? In a word…yes.
The number one mistake we see time and time again is this: Students waiting until spring break to look for summer internships. They can’t find any, or deadlines have passed on the ones they have found.
Certainly there are some companies and programs that will do their summer hiring in late spring. BUT if you wait until spring, you will be giving up MANY opportunities to participate in great internships. Some companies and government agencies plan far in advance and already have a summer hiring plan. For example, the State Department and the White House have already posted their internships for Spring 2018 and will post their Summer 2018 internships by November. A quick search on USAJobs shows about 68 federal internships currently accepting applications for 2018 positions. The kicker? Many federal internships will only accept the first 100 applications–so you’d better be ready to apply ASAP when it opens! What is a good plan?
Spring/Summer 2018 Internship plan
- Subscribe to internship websites. You can set them to email you a weekly digest, or just email you when the kinds of internships that you designate become available. Some suggested sites are listed below.
- Use Handshake. The Career Center switched from I-Link to Handshake this summer. Click on the link below, log in, set up your profile, explore, and set it to contact you when internships you qualify for become available. Check back regularly.
- Attend Career Fairs. Did you know that most campus career fairs, like the Business Career Fair and the ACES Career Fair, are open to all students? And, many of those employers will have both job and internships available. Mark your calendars for the Fall Illini Career & Internship Fair on October 19 too. You can find a list of all campus career fairs on Handshake.
- Create or perfect your resume. The Career Center has numerous opportunities to have your resume reviewed–or attend a resume basics workshop–every week. Click here to see their events. You’ll need a resume for the rest of your life, so the sooner you start building these skills, the better! Aim to have a good quality resume by mid-September to avoid delay applying for the scholarships you find.
- Gcal or Ical it. NOW–right now–go to your Gcal, ical, or good old fashioned planner, and schedule an hour every other week (or every week, if you’re very ambitious) for Internships.(Use this time to check internship listings and prepare your applications.) When you find an internship listing, add that due date to your Gcal/ical/planner too. Finding and applying for internships and jobs is not done in an afternoon–it really helps to be organized and persistent.
What internship websites should you use? Here are the Top 5 Internship Sites that we have found to be helpful.
Handshake–Here is where companies post their opportunities for Illinois students. You can also find out about upcoming company info sessions and career/internship fairs.
Internships.com–Continuously updated nationwide internship listings
Idealist.com–Nonprofit internship offerings
Fastweb–Extensive internship listings (click on “Career Planning”)