Steps to Find an Internship

October 11, 2022

Finding an internship that is a perfect match is like a treasure hunt where you have to dig several places before "striking gold."  Remember that securing an internship is only part of the career planning process. For assistance with any of these steps, contact Director of Career Development Cindy Seghers,

Step 1. Self-Examination
Assess your interests, values, abilities, and personality preferences.  Start by completing an online assessment.  Explore career goals by researching literature and checking out online resources such as the Occupational Information Network and the Occupational Outlook Handbook.

Step 2. Research
Find out as much as possible about career options in which you are interested.  Attend a "How To Find An Internship" workshop offered by the Honors College Career Development Office or LSU Career Services.  Schedule an individual appointment with the Director of Career Development. Check out Handshake and investigate other websites. Attend LSU's Career Expo each semester and discuss internship opportunities with employers. Talk with faculty about internships they believe would enhance your career path. Ask other students who completed an internship about their experience and what they recommend. Conduct information interviews with professionals in a selected career field. 

Step 3. Get Organized
Most organizations or companies require a resume and cover letter.  Other commonly requested items include transcripts, writing samples, references, and formal applications. If you do not have a resume, you may want to attend a resume writing workshop and/or meet with the Director of Career Development to critique it. 

Register with Handshake, so you can submit your resume and schedule interviews with employers coming to the LSU campus.

Based on your research, select a manageable number  (15-35+ ) of companies to target and send them an e-mail of inquiry, or begin the application process (for listed positions).  Be sure to make a note of all application deadlines! It is also a good idea to create a list or Excel spread sheet to track this information.

Step 4. Wait
When all the application materials are completed, send them and ........wait.  It may take up to a month to hear anything.  If the application deadline has passed and you haven't heard from the employer, make a (polite) phone call asking if they received all your materials, if they need additional information, and when interviews will be conducted.  Be persistent but not annoying as you pursue opportunities.

Step 5. Interview
This is a crucial step if you want to secure an internship. In order to be well-prepared for a face-to-face meeting with an employer, it is to your advantage to learn and practice effective interviewing skills.  Attend a mock interview session or research interview preparation to learn tips on making the most of your interview.