We’ve barely kicked off fall semester and it’s time to look for 2020 spring and 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 White House Internship Program has already finished taking applicants for Spring 2020. Many federal internships will only accept the first 100 applications–so you need to be ready to apply ASAP when they open! What is a good plan?
How to Find Spring/Summer 2020 Internships
- Subscribe to internship websites (like the ones below). 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 uses Handshake to post jobs and internships for Illinois students and alumni. 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 + LAS Career Fair (which are both in September), are open to all students? And, many of those employers will have both job and internships available. You can find a list of all campus career fairs on Handshake.
- Get your resume ready. 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 internships or scholarships that you find.
- Gcal or Ical it. 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”)
USAJobs.gov–for federal government jobs and internships. Tip: The website gogovernment.org has a nice overview explaining how to get started and what to look for.