As a student in the College of the Liberal Arts, it was critical that I be proactive and thoroughly employ all of the resources available to me in order to be successful in my pursuit of an internship for this summer. It is sometimes more of a challenge for Liberal Arts students to search for an internship position because their major might not lead to a specific career path, such as accounting or finance. For instance, there are very few "psychology internships" for undergraduates.
However, I believe that this was a blessing in disguise for the following reason: the breadth of courses that my Liberal Arts degree has permitted me to take, in conjunction with the Business and the Liberal Arts minor, provided me with the flexibility to apply for a variety of internship positions in different industries and enhanced my marketability as a desirable applicant. Courses prescribed by my minor, such as finance, accounting, and management, have greatly contributed to my overall professional development. I have also excelled in a variety of industrial organizational psychology courses (a field closely related to human resources), as well as communications courses.
I became knowledgeable about a plethora of internship resources by attending an information session entitled College of the Liberal Arts: The Internship Search. Students who attended the information session were permitted access to the PowerPoint presentation that was developed for the purposes of the session; therefore, students in attendance were supplied with many invaluable resources to assist them in their internship search. From my personal experience, Nittany Lion Career Network and internships.com were particularly useful because they not only enable students to conduct effective searches by narrowing their search results by an industry of interest, but also by geographic location.
I quickly became cognizant of the fact that most internship programs are very competitive, and many internship deadlines expire in March, some even earlier. Therefore, it is prudent for students to start their search early and to be aware of deadlines so that they do not miss out on opportunities. However, that is not to say that many wonderful internship opportunities are not still available for students who have just started their internship search. For instance, even if an organization does not have a specific internship program, it never hurts to inquire whether they have a need for an intern: students should try to create opportunities for themselves. It is beneficial for students to first research the organization of interest, contact the organization to express their interest, and inquire as to whether there are opportunities available. Typically, when I visited a company website, there was a link that said "Contact Us" that provided me with helpful contact information.
I will be writing a couple of additional posts in the coming weeks with more tips on searching for an internship. For now, I would like other students with experience obtaining internships to feel free to join the conversation: What advice do you have for other students who are still searching for a summer internship?