How do I Apply for an Internship?

Brad Cole

Internships are an opportunity that all students should consider. Specifically, an internship is a temporary job at a company where a student or recent graduate will get experience in his or her field. Internships are either unpaid or provide a low wage, but the real value comes from the work experience and training that the intern receives.

Students often seek internships as they near graduation.
Students often seek internships as they near graduation.

The following steps may be helpful in finding, applying for, and receiving an internship:

An individual may develop important contacts through an unpaid internship.
An individual may develop important contacts through an unpaid internship.

The first step in applying for an internship is actually finding an open and appropriate internship. Almost all universities have a list of local internships, and asking a college advisor or someone at a university’s career center will usually point an interested student in the right direction. Another way to find an internship is to go to the website of a company or government office in the student’s chosen field and search for an internship. Most companies post their open internships online, along with how to apply for them. Some internships can be found by searching online job websites or employment websites. A few internship-only search sites also exist.

The next step is to apply for an internship once an appropriate opportunity has been found. Whichever source the student located the internship opening from will usually also have an application to fill out, as well as a list of documents that must be included with the application. If the application is missing or the deadline is not clear, then the organization offering the position should be contacted through the listed information so that the student can find out how to apply. Applications for internships can usually be found on a company or office’s website, so students should make sure to check there first.

Official postings about an open internship will contain important information that interested students need to know. The deadline for receiving applications, the time frame of the internship, where the internship is located, what the student will be doing, how much pay can be expected, and exactly how to apply for the position is information that is usually provided. In order to apply for an internship, the student must make sure all of the requested information and paperwork is received by the company before the given deadline. This information and the requested paperwork usually includes university transcripts, the physical application form, letters of recommendation, and an essay on why the student wants the internship.

Once an internship has been applied for, the applicant waits to be notified about the position. The application or the initial posting about the internship will usually let applicants know when and how they will be notified as to whether or not they got the position. It is usually not appropriate to contact the organization offering the internship unless the notification deadline has passed and the organization stated that they would notify all applicants or the organization has stated that it is acceptable to contact them.

How to apply for an internship can be easily summarized as this: carefully follow all of the directions that the organization offering the internship provides. Following this simple guideline is the best and most successful way to apply for an internship.

Many companies list internship requirements online on their website.
Many companies list internship requirements online on their website.

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