Late Summer Internships: Where and How?

Mon, Jul 26, 2010

Internship Information

As the sun begins to set on a woefully fruitless summer for job seekers nationwide, don’t let it set on the eager ambition you began with. Do not allow the waning summer months derail you on your quest for highly coveted Paid internships (with a capital P).

A substantial bit of controversy has arisen in the past several years, reexamining questionably unconstitutional aspects of unpaid labor. Despite the fact that the Minimum Wage laws mostly limits publicly funded companies with internship programs, there are still a legion of private-owned businesses willing to offer compensation in exchange for your brilliant services. Though common job sites such as Craigslist and Ed 2010 are helpful starting points, there are other exceptional resources out there to give you an edge in your ongoing pursuit:

1. Indeed.com:

  • A massive employment search engine that actually searches other job sites to offer you a more specific list of results, significantly reducing the tedious time spent sifting through useless spam. Sites from Hispanicjobs.com to The Ladders are scanned to provide you with both internship and full-time job opportunities. The most important feature of this website is the user- friendly layout, organizing your search results based on industry, company name, job title and location.

2. College professors:

  • One of the most overlooked resources that I can think of. Being a journalism student, I’m charged with taking 100% initiative in a dwindling industry. So it pained me to watch so many of my peers neglect to talk to their professors at the end of the semester regarding possible internship opportunities. Need I remind you that these individuals had professional lives far beyond the classroom? Many colleges and universities employ CEOs, accomplished scholars and world-renowned figures to impart their worldly wisdom upon the impressionable young minds of eager students. For example, a professor that I took a Media Criticism course with had close friends that work in the video game industry. A few simple questions later and he connected me with developers from both “Activision” (the makers of Guitar Hero) and “Marvel.”

3. Job fairs and seminars:

    In the professional rat race, you and potential employers have very little opportunity to enjoy some quality face time. Job fairs are a glorious occasion to give recruiters a glimpse of your mug and make a smashing first impression. Be sure to make the most of this encounter by bringing copies of up-to-date resumes and business cards (if you have them).

The prospect of a paid internship (or any internship for that matter) may seem only a distant dream at this point, but it is crucial to stay motivated and understand that you are not alone in your strife. In early July The New York Times featured a lengthy article on the subject titled “The Coveted But Elusive Summer Internship,” comparing the current student employment crisis to BP’s recent catastrophe on the Gulf Coast (a bit of a stretch, but you get the point). Just apply a healthy dose of clever investigation and a pinch of feverish networking, and at the very least you will get your name out there for promising connections for the future.

By Brian Wilder

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