Internship - The Search Process


Steps to Prepare for an Internship Search
Some of the suggested steps to help prepare for the search, application, interview and acceptance of internships.

Building an effective Internship Search
Provides advice on strategies and tools to use in the search process.

A Sample Internship Search Strategy

Important Tips to Remember
List many of the common suggestions Career Services emphasizes

Steps To Prepare For Internship Searching?

Career Services recommends the following internship search strategies:    

1.  Determine your internship and individual career goals

For Your Internship - Timing, location, duties, employment sector, field, employer type, financial/housing considerations
For Your Career -  What are your long-term career goals? Will an internship help you to reach those goals? What classroom knowledge do you want to apply in the workplace? What do you hope to learn from your experience? 

2.   Assess your skills, strengths, interests, and values
What skills and knowledge can you offer an employer (Transferable Skills Checklist)?  

3.  Research Organizations & Career field
Identify the industry, field, company, organization and position in which you plan to gain experience. Determine your preferred work environment; i.e. company size, location, etc. Explore your field  through:

(A) Links (Department of Labor, Career ONet, Monster Career Converter) or Weinberg Memorial Library to find tools to explore career options
(B) Also, the following sites are dedicated to career planning &
(C) Books and guides in our Career Services Center and Weinberg Memorial Library  could prove useful in discovering the perfect employer for you.

4.  Develop a tailored resume and cover letter and meet with a career counselor for resume review
- Bring or email a draft of your resume and cover letter to a career counselor.

5. Prepare to ace the interview - Visit our Interview Guide, meet with a career counselor prepare effectively for the interview; Schedule a mock interview to put your plan into action in a simulated setting.


  Building an effective Internship Search?

  • Develop and utilize effective search strategies
    Attend an Internship Search Strategies workshop

  • Regularly access your College Central account
    - Search our online database for posted internship, summer, and part-time opportunities from employers registered with Career Services.

  • Apply Through Employer Websites or By Prospecting Letters/Calls
    Develop a list of employers where you would like to work by conducting an Internet search, looking in the Yellow Pages telephone directory or consulting the “Book of Lists” for your area. Most metropolitan business newspapers publish a “Book of Lists” which can be obtained from your local library or by subscription to the business newspaper. To learn the name of the appropriate “Book of Lists” for your area, call the national publisher at 1-800-486-3289.

  • Network - to learn more about your field(s) of interest and to identify internship opportunities. Communicate with your relatives, friends, parents, peers, U of S professors/advisors/staff /alumni, high school teachers, past/present employers, and internship/volunteer service supervisors.  Also, look for opportunities to make contacts through employer events, conferences, seminars, and workshops.
  • Access the Alumni Online Community, an online database consisting of Scranton alumni to network with and seek advice.

  • Search various internship-related Internet sites. Check out our links.

  • Utilize resources in The Weinberg Memorial Library. A variety of resources are available including books, magazines, newspapers, newsletters, and trade publications. A computer lab with Internet access is also available to assist you in your search.

  • Attend employer information sessions - to learn about openings and network at Career Center events.

  • Consider joining professional associations - in your field of interest.

  • Go to career fairs - to learn about internship opportunities.

  • Consider your financial needs and housing options. Employers decide whether the internship is compensated, and if so, the amount. In prosperous times, business and technology internships are often paid. In a difficult economy, paid internships are much reduced. You will need to determine your own compensation needs. When employers do seek guidance on offering internship salaries, we recommend that internships be compensated at 80% of entry-level salary. The following web sites can help you to determine entry-level salaries:
          Bureau of Labor Statistics 

  • Take advice - from other students – Student Experiences


Internship Search Process - An Example

1. Self Discovery.

  • What interests, skills, and talents do you want to use or learn in your internship?
  • What career paths do you want to explore?
2. Exploration
  • Read internship listings (Career Options, national databases)
  • Informational Interviewing (Career Connections)
  • Utilize The Career Services & Weinberg Memorial Library

3. Sharpen Your Tools

  • Have your resume reviewed
  • Have your cover letter reviewed
  • Attend an Interviewing Skills 101 or Advanced Interviewing Skills workshop
  • Attend an Internship Search Strategies workshop

4. Focus Your Search

  • Identify geographical areas (e.g. Washington D.C.)
  • Identify employment sector (e.g. private industry, government, education, non-profit)
  • Identify types of employers (e.g. children's advocacy within non-profit)
  • Identify specific organizations or businesses to target (e.g. Children's Defense Fund)
  • Consider financial and housing situations


5. Internship Search Strategies at Work

  • Begin networking
  • Access College Central; review it weekly to search for new listings
  • Create a target list of 25-30 organizations or companies that fit your interests; identify contacts and submit your credentials for consideration
  • Participate in On-Campus Recruiting
  • Access Internet search tools regularly

6. Maximize Your Internship Experience

  • Set learning objectives at the beginning of your internship
  • Focus on job priorities
  • Take initiative
  • Seek feedback and support
  • Maintain your network



Begin your search early

Utilize effective search strategies - Attend an Internship Search Strategies workshop

Research organizations and create a "Target" List to approach

Develop a tailored resume and cover letter

Ace the interview - Attend an Interviewing Skills 101 workshop

Follow-up with a thank you note

Searching for an internship opportunity is very similar to a job search. It requires time, persistence, and patience.