While many companies and organizations offer internship opportunities to college students looking to expand their knowledge in the field, not every business offers paid internships. However, if you position yourself correctly and tout the benefits and skills you bring to the workplace, you might be able to snag an opportunity to be compensated for your learning experience. (ref 2)
Investigate internship policies at your college or university
Meet with your academic adviser to determine the institution’s requirements for an internship to qualify for college credit. Some universities require internships be unpaid to qualify for credit. (ref 1)
Ask your academic adviser or career counselor for a list of companies that offer paid internships. An internship coordinator or placement office usually has established connections with businesses and should be able to point you toward employers in your field. (ref 1)
Use your existing contacts to identify companies that offer paid internship opportunities. Ask friends, family and other students if they have connections or can make an introduction to key personnel at a company you’re interested in. (ref 4, page 6-7)
Put together a comprehensive resume that outlines your specific skills, experience and education. The resume should establish you as a person who can quickly acclimate to a job and be a contributing and productive member of the staff, even while working in an internship capacity. (ref 4, pages 9-18)
Contact the internship coordinator or human resources division of the companies where you are interested in working. Ask about the parameters of their internship programs, including the application process. Narrow the focus to those organizations that offer paid opportunities. Follow the application criteria and request an in-person interview. (ref 4 page 6)
- If you’re having a hard time finding a paid internship, go through the steps of a traditional job search and look for a part-time or temporary position in your field. Approach the human resources officer and ask about the potential of working the position as an intern while collecting the salary designated for the role.
Lisa McQuerrey has been a business writer since 1987. In 1994, she launched a full-service marketing and communications firm. McQuerrey's work has garnered awards from the U.S. Small Business Administration, the International Association of Business Communicators and the Associated Press. She is also the author of several nonfiction trade publications, and, in 2012, had her first young-adult novel published by Glass Page Books.