Finding an Internship or Career Exploration

Beginning the Process

Questions to Ask Yourself:
  • Why do you want an internship?
  • What type of internship do you want? OR What types of skills are you trying to develop? OR What are your goals after graduation?
  • What is a realistic location for the internship?
  • Do you need a paid internship or can it be unpaid? 
  • What is your schedule and how will an internship fit? 
  • What organizations are you interested in and what do you know about them?
Consider all options -- many outstanding opportunities exist in the nonprofit and small business sectors for students of all academic backgrounds. Some steps to consider taking in searching for an Internship or Interim Career Exploration are to:
  • Browse through Handshake for internships/career exploration opportunities
  • Search other internship listings
  • Meet with a Career Development staff member (To schedule an appointment, call 507-933-7575 or stop by Career Development)
  • Give yourself plenty of time to find, apply to and interview for internships! It may take longer than you think.

Making Contact

Many times organizations don't post internships, but that doesn't mean that they don't host interns. If you find yourself interested in organizations, reach out. 

After you've narrowed down and researched organizations it's time to make the initial contact. When you call be prepared to tell them the reason for your call. For example:
"Hi, my name is Jane Smith and I am calling about a potential internship for next semester. Who may I speak with about this?"
Once you have the correct person on the phone, offer a short introduction and state the reason for your call:
"I am a junior psychology major at Gustavus Adolphus College and plan to work in a counseling environment someday. I am hoping to explore the career and gain experience through an internship. Do you host undergraduate interns?"
Ask what you need to do to apply for the position:
"Where should I send my resume and cover letter?"
"Do you know the time frame for interviews?" or "When might I expect to hear back from you?"
Inform them whether or not you would like to do the internship for credit. Some organizations may require that you receive credit for your experience.
Be as flexible as you can with their dates and schedule. Since most internships are part-time it's best to try and work around your class schedule after you've been offered the position.

Unique Gustavus Opportunities

Updated 10/13/2020 JV