Tips for Finding Your Summer Internship 

by J.D. Mooney

Have you found your summer internship yet? Finding an internship can be overwhelming and time-consuming, so OSU College of Arts and Sciences has some tips and resources to make the process easy and organized.

Internships are a great way to gain experience relevant to a professional industry while also preparing yourself for finding a job post-graduation. Sixty percent of college students report completing an internship before graduating with an undergraduate degree. Here are some reasons why internships are important:

If you haven’t completed an internship, then don’t stress. Below, there are four key steps to help you find a summer internship along with resources available at OSU College of Arts and Sciences.

Step 1: Outline Your Professional Goals

Before your start looking for internship opportunities, you should discover what professional industry you want to explore.

If you are having a hard time finding a professional industry that fits your interests, you can meet with one of OSU’s College of Arts and Sciences’ Career Coaches. They will help you explore potential career industries as well as establish professional goals.

Besides deciding an industry, you also need to choose a location. Living in a new city is a great way to “test drive” a destination for post-graduation life. While completing an internship in a new city is a great learning experience, it can be expensive, so check out OSU’s scholarship and financial resources for assistance.  

Step 2: Create a Timeline

Next, we recommend creating a timeline outlining when you will complete all steps of the internship application process.

Many companies start looking for summer interns four-six months before the job start date. Starting the summer internship search early will open the door to more opportunities and make the process organized.

If you need any assistance outlining your summer internship timeline, you can use OSU’s Quick Chat tool which allows students to access a career coach without an appointment.

Step 3: Build Your Professional Network

Networking is important when searching for summer internship opportunities. It is estimated that 70-80% of jobs are not published because most companies hire from professional connections. There are many ways that you can create a diverse network at OSU.  

First, LinkedIn is one of the online tools for networking with students and professionals. Almost 90% of recruiters say that LinkedIn is the most useful tool when looking through internship and job candidates. Creating a professional student profile will help with networking and internship searches. You can also join LinkedIn groups and community pages to connect with professionals in your industry.

Another digital networking platform that can help you secure a summer internship is Handshake. This platform allows you to build a profile and its algorithm matches you with summer internships and jobs that match your interests, area of study and year in school. Once you create a Handshake profile, you can join one of OSU’s 10 Career Communities which connect students with similar majors and professional interests. Some of the Career Communities include entrepreneurship, science/research and education/non-profit/social services. The Career Communities host a variety of networking events and job fairs that can be helpful in helping you secure an internship.

Finally, you can network with experienced professionals by applying for OSU College of Arts and Sciences Match Mentor Program. This program matches OSU College of Arts and Sciences alumni with current students.

Rhea Pai, an OSU 2020 graduate, said that she created a strong professional network through the Match Mentor Program and even received a job offer from Abbott.

Step 4: Create Your Resume and Cover Letters

When applying for summer internships, you need a professional resume along with effective cover letters. OSU College of Arts and Sciences has the resources to help your resume and cover letter stand out.

Employers look at resumes for, on average, six seconds. To grab the attention of the employer or resume scanner, you should use job description keywords, break up the text with subheadings and show your personality. If you need help formatting your resume, OSU College of Arts and Sciences offer resume templates to get you started.

If you want a professional to look over your resume, check out the Express Resume Review. This resource allows OSU Career Coaches to provide feedback on your resume format and content.

If you don’t have time to meet with a Career Coach, then you can use VMock which is an artificial intelligence tool provided by OSU that can review your resume and benchmark it across professionals in your industry. 

Cover letters are another important part of applying for summer internships. This is where you can connect your experiences to the company or organization. We recommend taking time to research the employer before writing the cover letter so you can accurately communicate the company’s goals and ideas.

To create an effective cover letter, you can use OSU College of Arts and Sciences’ cover letter tips or make a personalized appointment with a Career Coach.

We know that applying for summer internships during the school year can be a long and stressful process, so we hope these tips as well as OSU College of Arts and Sciences’ resources make the process easy and fast.

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