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The Ultimate Guide to Finding a Summer 2023 Internship

It’s that time of year when students are planning for the summer and looking for those internships. According to data collected through the Career Center’s summer experience survey, over 70% of students typically receive their summer internship offers between January and May. But how do you go about finding that coveted summer role? Read on to find out.

Figure out what you are looking for.

It’s easier to find something if you know what you’re looking for, so start by better defining what you are seeking in an internship. This will allow you to be better able to seek out useful resources and ask for help. You’ll also more effectively be able to communicate to employers why you are a good fit for their role, making it more likely you’ll land an internship. 

Consider the following questions and write down your responses so you can continually reference this information throughout your search:

  • In what career field would you like to intern? Think about what fields you are curious to learn more about and start there. (Not sure where to begin? Meet with a career coach or take Focus 2 to generate some ideas.)
  • What are your goals for this internship? Think about what you are trying to get from an internship. Why are you interested in doing an internship over, say, a summer job or volunteer opportunity? 
  • What type of work would you like to be doing and what skills are you hoping to gain? Internships are learning opportunities (or at least they should be!) and an opportunity to gain skills while exploring a career field. Seek out internships with intent to ensure it’s a productive experience for you.
  • Where — geographically — would you like to be over the summer? What opportunities exist there? 

Once you’ve considered these and other questions, you can start searching for specific opportunities.. 

Locate opportunities that align with what you are seeking.

There are countless websites that list internships, but if you’re only searching and applying online, you’re likely missing some great opportunities! It’s important to vary your search strategies. Try at least two of the following strategies:

  • Handshake and other internship boards: Handshake lists thousands of opportunities in a wide range of fields that are geared toward college students. It may also be helpful to identify 1-2 other job boards that you regularly search for opportunities. You can use our career cluster pages to find industry-specific resources or find more general internship resources here.
  • Connect with BC alums and other professionals. Using a resource such as Eagle Exchange to reach out to alums will help you learn more about others’ career paths while also providing an opportunity to mention that you are seeking an internship and asking for advice about that process. 
  • Attend career fairs, networking events, and other Career Center programming: We offer career fairs, networking events, panels, and workshops across all our career clusters, many of which are coming up this spring. And don’t worry, we’ll help you prepare for these events, too. 
  • Connect with your peers. Use the Career Center’s summer experience database to connect with students who have interned at organizations or locations of interest to you.
  • Talk to faculty, academic advisors, mentors, coaches, etc. Spread the word about what type of internship you are seeking. You never know who might know someone with whom they can connect you or know of an opportunity that would be a great fit!

Get ready to send those applications and prepare for interviews!

Craft a strong resume and cover letter and tailor them for each position. This is one part of the process that you have 100% control over. Make sure those application materials are excellent!

  • Use the resources on the Career Center website to draft your resume and cover letters, including sample resumes and cover letters as well as templates to help you get started. 
  • Get feedback on your resume and cover letter during Career Center drop-ins and from others you trust will be able to provide you with good advice in this area.

Once you are confident that your resume and cover letters are strong and tailored to a position of interest, start sending those applications! 

Most internships will require an interview before you receive an offer. Review the resources on our website here and practice your interviewing skills through Big Interview (click ‘Register’ and create an account using your BC email).

But wait, there’s more! 

Keep in mind the following additional tips as you embark on your internship search: 

  • Be wary of internships in name only. Pay attention to the substance and responsibilities of the opportunities you explore, not just the title. Make sure the position will truly provide an opportunity for you to learn and grow.
  • Keep track of where you have applied and where you are in the application process for each position. You can use this sample tracking spreadsheet or create your own to stay organized.
  • Eagle Intern Fellowship: If you land an unpaid internship and have demonstrated financial need, apply for Eagle Intern Fellowship funding through the Career Center. 
  • Receive academic credit for your internship: Did you know that all undergraduate BC students can take up to three 1-credit internships? Find more details here and contact the appropriate person for your academic school. 

Remember that, while internships are great opportunities to build skills and explore careers, there are many ways to have a productive summer. If you don’t end up with an internship, schedule an appointment with a career coach to talk about other ways to achieve your summer goals!

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