3 Ways to Ensure You’re Not the Last One to Get a Summer Internship

Getting your environmental degree most likely means you’ll need to complete at least one internship. One the one hand it seems exciting to have hands-on experience, on the other hand, it can be scary. Procrastination is one of the worst things you can do because of the good internships, the ones that pay or are at the local aquarium, go fast. Waiting until the final hour also increases your stress because you’ll get more rejections and feel like you’re running out of options.

Here are three things you can do to rest assured that the internship is coming:

  1. Start looking early. The best time to start looking is now, even if you don’t need the internship until next year or another semester. Starting early will allow you to start networking in the right places (see #2). It wouldn’t hurt to ask if you can get on the waitlist for popular programs more than a semester out.
  2. Network both online and in-person. You’ve got your LinkedIn profile up to date, right? If you don’t, see the other post and webinar, about using LinkedIn. Follow the companies you’d like to intern with on LinkedIn. Find persons who are currently in internships there and ask them how they got the position and if they can share any advice. CBS News recommends using social media: “Tweet and post on Facebook: ‘I’d love to intern at Sirius Radio. Does anyone know someone who has worked or interned there?’”
  3. Just ask! If you’ve been following #2 you’ll be ready for this.  Approach HR or a working professional you’ve met and ask them if they have any internship opportunities available. If they say no or something along the lines of, “we don’t have a specific program.” Follow up with, “would you or another department be willing to take on an intern for the summer? I could help you with [insert how you can help here].”

You should know that it takes work for a company to take on an intern. You’re another person they have to manage and additional paperwork. You want to be able to show them that you aren’t going to be more work that they expect to take on. Which means that showing just like any other employee, you’ll show up on time, be coachable, and proactively step up to help out. You can demonstrate this by being diligent about following up, having your LinkedIn and resume ready for action, and focusing on the job while you are there (cell phones away).   

Follow these three suggestions and you'll have no problem getting a meaningful internship.


You might also be interested in the upcoming career interview series coming up. We're getting started with Madison M. Quinn with NYWEA on May 2nd. Follow future interviews here.

Brush up your resume, get started in the FREE Job Search Essentials Mini-Course. Learn more here


Stay gold!

The Environmental Career Coach provides group and personal coaching for students, recent grads, and career changers to help them get from where they currently are and onto paths to successful environmental careers. 


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