When you are preparing to apply to internships it is a good idea to plan ahead! Some companies and organizations (i.e., the Federal Government, Finance/Consulting, etc.) have deadlines as early as November for summer internships. Typically most internship openings will be posted between December and March. It is best to begin researching possible paths in the fall semester and to begin reaching out to companies/organizations over winter break.
Looking for internships is similar to looking for jobs. There are several strategies you can use to find an internship. You can:
- Look for internship listings on websites and in newspapers and directories
- Identify prospective employers/organizations and contact them about internship opportunities
- Network to find out about hidden internship opportunities
It is best to use a combination of these strategies rather than relying on just one approach. More information on each strategy is included below, and we are here to help. A staff member in the Career Development Office would be happy to help you with your individual internship search strategy.
Below are some examples of where you can begin searching for advertised internship opportunities. More industry-specific internship resources are provided in our Internship Resource Directory. Please note that this is not an exhaustive list of resources; to learn more about options in your area of interest, you may want to schedule an appointment with a counselor. Additionally, the CDO library houses a number of useful print internship guides and directories that you may wish to peruse.
Handshake and LACN
Handshake provides students with access to Vassar's job and internship database. This is where we post opportunities when alumnae/i, parents and friends of Vassar, or employers contact us. You can log into your account with your email address and password through Vassar Single Sign-On.
The Liberal Arts Career Network (LACN) is another useful database--Vassar is a member of LACN, a consortium of career offices from 35 top small liberal arts colleges. This membership provides students and alumni access to the internship and job postings from all 39 schools. LACN is updated daily; check it often! To log onto your LACN account for the first time, click on the "Forgot Password" link, enter your Vassar email address, and create a new password.
Internships-USA publishes 14 internship guides organized by the following categories: advertising; community and social service; congressional; environmental; history; human rights; international affairs; media; museums; law and policy; resort/seasonal; sports; top companies; and women's rights.
You can also search for a variety of internships based on interest, location, etc. on Internships.com. Take the "Internship Predictor" to match your interests and skills to actual opportunities.
Vault Campus provides a variety of career guides, with which to conduct company and industry research as well as a jobs and internships database. To create a free account on Vault you must first navigate from our CDO homepage and then use your Vassar email address to set up an account.
Spotlight on Careers
Spotlight on Careers is a project through LACN that allows you to research 40+ industries through topic specific pages that include links for internship search options as well as resume and interview advice.
Idealist is a great resource for students interested in non-profit careers/social justice/etc. Use this resource to search for internship, job, or volunteer opportunities and connect with people and organizations that you're interested in.
Researching Prospective Companies/Organizations
Another way to look for internships is to identify prospective companies/organizations by field of interest and/or geographic area. After you've researched a particupar company or organization, contact them to inquire about internship possibilities. You can use both LinkedIn and Glassdoor to search for specific companies or organizations that are engaged in work that is of interest to you. Other resources that students can use to target employers and specific locations (within the United States) are:
CareerSearch provides you with access to a powerful networking database of over 4 million companies nationwide. You can search for information on a particular company as well as identify companies and organizations in a specific industry or location. CareerSearch has a robust search engine that allows you to find employer contact information (which allows you to inquire about internship opportunities). Click the 'New User? Create an Account!' link and use the following referral key: vassar2010
CareerOneStop's Employer Locator tool allows you to identify companies/organizations by industry, occupation, location, or keyword.
One of the best ways to secure an internship opportunity is through networking. Seek out opportunities to conduct informational interview with people who work in your fields of interest. Ask them questions about: the industry, where to look for internships in this industry, and whether there are people you should talk to, publications you should read, or email lists you should subscribe to that may aid you in your quest to become more familiar with that industry. More information about how to network and some of the networking opportunities, resources, and communities that are available to students and alumnae/i can be found in the Networking section of our website.
Vassar alumnae/i are an incredible source of career advice and support for students and alumnae/i at all stages. The Alum Directory allows you to search for alums using a variety of career-related search criteria. The directory also allows you to directly contact alums through an integrated email service.
LinkedIn is powerful resource for career networking. Here are some tips for connecting with alumnae/i on LinkedIn:
- Join the Vassar College Alumnae/i group and other related sub-groups to find alums in your field(s) of interest.
- Use the Advanced Search features to find people in specific organizations and industries.
- Check out Vassar's "University Page" on LinkedIn to explore the careers of the more than 20,000 Vassar alumnae/i.