7 Tips to Navigate Peak Internship Season

Updated: September 9, 2020

With peak internship season right around the corner, it’s time to start making your internship list—and checking it many, many times. While it’s tempting to spend your hard-earned free time lounging on the beach or snapping flawless Instagram photos, this is the perfect opportunity to gain some real-world experience and build out your resume. Now’s the time to get ahead of the competition and get ready for the future.

There are a plethora of benefits to doing an internship, and those benefits start when you begin your search. While an internship provides you with vital hands-on experience in the workplace, the process of applying gets you comfortable with the job-application process. Read our tips and tricks below, then get your internship search started today.

  • Choose your field carefully. Summer internships are your chance to explore career options in a low-risk, low-commitment environment. Take advantage of this and choose wisely. Once you’re out of school, your work experience becomes far more important to potential employers—and while you can certainly switch fields later on, it becomes more challenging. This is also a great opportunity to network, and you want those contacts to be in your field.
  • Think about location. While it’s tempting to just click on the big-name companies in the coolest cities, consider other factors as well. Can you afford rent there? How will you commute? Will you have friends and family nearby? You’ll have some control over your internship experience, but not over where it’s located.
  • Get your papers in order. First, get your resume in tip-top shape. College students, and even high school students, should be prepared with an organized, error-free record of their education and work experience. In addition, you might need to provide college transcripts, work samples, and letters of recommendation. And all of these are particularly useful when you have limited work experience.
  • Create a budget. Internships are valuable learning experiences—and for 40 percent of interns (according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers), that experience is the only salary. Work up a budget and consider your personal financial situation, so that you know where you stand in the money department. Maybe you can eat ramen every night and make it work, but if you can’t, there are other options.
  • Practice your interview skills. Once you’ve sent in some applications, you’ll start getting called back for interviews—so you’ll want to be prepared. Whether it’s one-on-one, a phone interview or a group interview, be sure to do your homework. Be prepared to discuss everything you included on your resume, from your current courses to your plans for the future. And if you find yourself in a time crunch, take five minutes to review our interview do’s and don’ts.
  • Focus on your attitude. Be humble, confident, and grateful throughout the internship application process. Focus on what you can learn from the company, but also how you can add value for them. And no matter how you get an internship, be it through a family friend, your school’s career center, or blind applications, remember to say thank you to everyone involved.
  • Use Chegg Internships to your advantage. Chegg Internships allows you to take location and field into account as you embark on your internship search.