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The Elusive Internship: How to Find It

March 15, 2011

Allison Cheston

Allison Cheston is a New York City-based career advisor who works with mid-career executives or young adults in high school, college or recent graduates, to help them understand how their strengths and interests fit in the world of work. Cheston is currently writing a book called ‘In The Driver’s Seat: Work-Life Navigational Skills for Young Adults.’

Whether you’re in high school or college, figuring out where to find an internship and getting someone to hire you can be a daunting process.

Ideally you’ve been doing a lot of thinking about what your strengths are and the ways you like to work and get things done, and you’ve started to also think about projects that could utilize those interests.

You can narrow your search by interests, skills, and geographic area. For example, if you live in Des Moines and you’re interested in environmental engineering, see if there is a company close by and someone specific you can contact within your LinkedIn or Facebook network.

What you’re trying to do is take something you might be interested in and keep digging until you find the organization that does that and the person who works there who might give you an internship. Some ideas:

  • Who do you know who runs an organization where you might serve as an intern, either part-time during the school year or in the summer?
  • Can your parents, friends, or teachers help?
  • Does your school have someone in charge of service learning and internships?
  • You could also explore your interests through a community service gig.
  • And of course, check out the internships listed here on

Want more advice from Allison Cheston? Check out her website at

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