Don’t worry! You still have a month to find something, and employers often do not know their availability until just weeks before a summer internship would start. Additionally, even if you are unable to secure an internship, there are other ways to salvage a productive summer.
If you’re still reading, you clearly want a summer internship, which means you’ve also probably applied to a few using conventional means, but may not have tried every available avenue. Here are a couple of internship hunting strategies you may not have considered as well as some ideas for alternate summer plans, just in case.
1. Talk to your parents, your friends’ parents, and your parents’ friends.
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It is much easier to get an internship, if someone has referred you. The hardest part of getting a job is getting your foot in the door, and there is no better way to do so than through a trusted colleague of your potential employer. Talk to everyone you know that could be in a position to help you or might know someone who can. Do not be shy; everyone has been in your position before and will appreciate and respect your efforts.
2. Contact potential employers directly.
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Instead of emailing your resume to a generic email@example.com email address, scour the company website for someone’s contact information. Take it one step further and try calling an employee listed on the company’s website. If you can get someone on the phone, your chances of employment increase exponentially. If there are no opportunities at that company, ask if there are any other people you might contact.
3. Scan Craigslist & local newspaper job postings.
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Local newspapers and Craigslist are great opportunities to look for internships. These outlets can offer high quality internships and should be considered.
4. Expand your search.
If you haven’t found an internship in the exact field you were hoping, broaden your search. Look for opportunities in related fields or consider something entirely different. It is not imperative that a summer internship be in the exact field you are hoping to start your career. Work experience of any kind is valuable to you as well as future employers.
5. Consider unpaid internships.
If working without pay is an option, consider expanding your search to opportunities that are unpaid or offer course credit. An unpaid internship in college can lead to a great, paid opportunity after graduation.
6. Leverage your professors.
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Ask your professors if they know of any summer opportunities. With such in-depth knowledge of their respective fields, professors often have many contacts and might know of lesser know internships. Additionally, consider offering to do research for a professor over the summer. Graduate schools and employers alike hold working for a professor in very high esteem.
If you’ve tried all of the suggestions above and still haven’t found an internship, you can still make your summer productive and attractive to future employers. Consider taking summer classes, working in a service industry job, or a study abroad program. Just be sure to do something! Regardless of whether you have a great internship or work at a fast food restaurant, the goal is to be able to have something meaningful to say when asked, “What did you do over the summer of 2010?”
OpenStudy.com is also hiring development interns: Click HERE to view the job description.