• What is an internship?

    An internship is an on-site work experience that is either directly related to your major field of study or your career interest. It can be paid or unpaid, and held during the summer or throughout the academic year.

  • What are the benefits of an internship?

    An internship gives you the opportunity to:

    • Gain valuable work experience before you graduate;
    • Develop new skills and refine others;
    • Apply knowledge gained from coursework to on-the-job situations;
    • Reality-test tentative career choices;
    • Meet and work with professionals, establishing contacts for letters of reference and networking;
    • Experience new work environments;
    • Earn money for tuition and expenses.
  • How do I find an internship?

    The most effective internship searches utilize a variety of different search strategies. A great place to start is the Internspedia website – many Internship listings are available online via Handshake. You can search your interests by keyword(s). (You may also want to use the word “intern” or “internship” in your search.) You will find information about additional internship opportunities elsewhere on this website.If you want internship information, sign up for Internship (under Career Interest, make sure to select “Internships”), review internspedia.com, and check out our Job & Internship Guide.Also, take advantage of all your networking opportunities. In addition to making contacts through friends, family, current/former employers, classmates, and faculty members, there are many other networking avenues you can pursue. A great place to start is the @cal Career Network, a database of Cal alumni. You may also learn about internship openings through newspapers, newsletters, job fairs, work/study abroad programs, hometown contacts, professional associations, student organizations, trade magazines, community service/volunteer groups, and your major department office.While there is a great deal of information available, you must be persistent in your internship search. Start early and seek out help from a career counselor. Have a plan that includes a great resume and cover letter, appropriate follow-up, and good record keeping. Be prepared, open-minded, flexible, and professional. It’s up to you to make all your contacts count!

  • When is a good time to start looking for an internship?

    The first wave. Summer internship application season actually begins in autumn of the year prior, around the time universities hold their fall career fairs. It runs all the way up to late May, with the heaviest volume of applications generally received between late February and early April. Lead time can give you a competitive edge when it comes to composing an effective cover letter or tailoring your resume to a desired internship.

  • Can I get academic credit for my internship?

    An internship with credit towards graduation combines academic coursework with relevant work experience. If an internship is clerical or mechanical, you may not be able to get college credit for it. Some colleges don’t give credits for any internships or only to juniors and seniors.

  • When should I start looking for a summer position?

    Begin searching in the preceding fall semester in order to take full advantage of all the resources and listings available to you. Some deadlines are very early! Beginning early allows you to more evenly balance the time required to conduct a successful summer job search with other demands on your time. Being better informed will help you make better use of academic breaks to investigate summer job possibilities.

  • Do employers come on campus to recruit for summer employment?

    Yes. Make plans to engage in On-Campus Recruiting (OCR) during the Spring semester when many employers hire for summer internships. Also be sure to participate in the Internship & Summer Job Fair typically held in mid-February.