Why do I need an internship?
- An internship is the best way to gain real world experience in a career field of your interest.
- With an internship, you can determine if a career field is a good fit for you. You’ll learn things about the industry and job functions that that cannot be taught.
- Some internships lead to a full-time position within the same organization.
- An internship looks amazing on a résume and will give you material to reference during an interview for a full-time position.
When should I get an internship?
- It’s never too early to do an internship!
- Internships aren’t just during the summer. Plenty of them are during the school year and you can check out WFU internships here.
- The summer after your junior year is a crucial time and you should have an internship lined up for this period.
- Ideally, try to have two internships before you graduate.
How do I get started?
Before you start your search, create a list of your most important criteria for an internship. Talk with a career coach who can help you determine a strategy for your internship search. Consider:
Pay, Location, and Work Culture
- Pay: Do you need to be paid for your internship or can you take an unpaid position? If taking an unpaid internship is possible, you will find more potential opportunities.
- Location: Where do you want to work? Should you go back to your hometown and live with your family? Can you live in a different city if you find inexpensive housing? Check out city resources here.
- Organization: What kind of culture are you looking for? Will you receive much attention and guidance from your supervisor? Will there be an opportunity to develop a relationship with a mentor?
- Explore careers through the OPCD website.
- Or, explore careers in even more detail using resources found here.
- Many government internship deadlines are in the fall!
- Highly competitive industries (investment banking/consulting) strongly encourage internships after sophomore/junior year – so plan ahead.
How do I find opportunities?
- Networking – talking to people to gather information and advice – is the best way to find an opportunity. Most internships that students get are found through networking.
- Informational interviewing! This step is critical and often overlooked. These are simply conversations with people – often people you already know or alumni- who work in your field of interest to gather information. Learn all about Informational Interviews here.
- Managing your growing network with our Tracking Tool.
- Using LinkedIn – a great way to find contacts that it is easier than you think. Use our guide to help you make the right connections.
- Join “Wake Forest Career Connectors” group on LinkedIn.
- Searching internship Websites. Click here for internships you can submit an application to. Use search features to narrow your search by location or skills!
I’ve found an internship I want to apply for – now what?
- Check out the resources above for a guide to writing a resume and cover letter, as well as a sample resumes for a variety of student backgrounds.
- Have your resume reviewed by a resume reviewer at the OPCD.
- Schedule an appointment with a Career Coach. You can do this on Handshake. A Career Coach will help you prepare the best you can for your interview.
- Prepare yourself for you interview by checking out our Interview Guide and work on interviews on your own time with Interview Stream.
What tips can you offer international students?
- If you are looking for an internship in the United States, you can use this sheet for tips and advice. We are here to help you with tools and resources during the search process.
- You will want to work closely with the Wake Forest Center for Global Programs and Studies to ensure that you are working within the regulations required of your visa status.