Find out how to find your dream internships for college freshmen, and the must-know tips on how to land your perfect role!
So you’ve only just started your college career and you’re already thinking about internships? Good for you! And good news too. Many exclusive companies offer summer internships for college freshmen. Here, we’ll show you how to not only find your dream internship, but also the must-know tips on how to land the role!
Why Should You Get an Internship in College?
Getting an internship, especially as a college freshman, is a great way to not only jump start your career in your field, but also to find out if it’s the right career for you. Realizing after a few months of an internship that you’re not in love with the field, gives you time to look for a different area in your field of study during your degree program . You will also gain valuable work experience, that you might not get if you choose a typical, hourly-wage summer job.
How to Know if an Internship Is Right for You:
Identify what your goals are. What are your reasons for getting an internship? Will it help with your career path? Do you want to spend your summer doing something meaningful? Perhaps you want to try out a new area within your field. Whatever the case is, be clear with yourself about your goals for the internship, and try to apply for internships that align with your goals.
Other considerations that can help you are:
Use your past work or study experiences and knowledge about the field. By now, even if you don’t have formal work experience, you may have some idea of the environment you would like to work in. Use knowledge about yourself and your preferred working style to help guide you through the internship search process.
Does the internship offer college credit? If you need credits, make sure you try to find an internship that offers them. If you’re not sure, ask the company and check with your university.
Is it a paid internship? Getting paid for your time is always a big bonus that can help with your living costs and college fees when you return to university come fall
Find out if they offer trainings or mentorship as part of the internship. You will make the most out of your internship if you are guided by someone experienced, patient and knowledgeable in the field.
Choose whether a summer or yearly internship is right for you. Most companies offer full-time summer internships, a great way to get an intensive and realistic work experience. Some companies also offer part-time, longer internships that you can complete during your studies. Choose your best working style, think about if you can handle a summer away, working full time and if you can work during school.
Does the internship offer hiring opportunities after you finish your studies come graduation time? Ask the company directly and find out the number of people who get hired to help you work out your chances.
When to Apply for Your Internship?
For summer internships, make sure to apply as early as possible. Many companies open their applications in the Fall for the following year. You might be wondering how you can possibly apply when you’ve only just started college! Keep reading as we outline ways to stand out on your resume and interview for that dream internship for college freshmen. First let’s look at some examples of what companies are out there.
10 AMAZING Opportunities for College Undergrads ONLY:
Google has plenty of opportunities for summer internships for those pursuing their bachelor’s degree, many giving preference to those returning to the program after the summer. Internships are located all over the world, in the Americas, Asia, Europe, and Australia. Full list of available roles here.
Explore Microsoft is a 12-week internship for first and second year students only in program management and software engineering. More about the program here.
Facebook University is for Freshmen only, enrolled in a B.A or B.S. They have paid internships for college freshmen in engineering, operations, analytics, product design and undergraduate marketing internships. Check out the program here and other internship opportunities at Facebook here.
JP Morgan offers undergraduate opportunities for all levels, and all fields including business, engineering, H.R, finance and more. Their internships are located across the globe, in places such as Australia, Asia, the Americas and Europe. Take a look here for the full list.
L’oreal offers a Summer internship in Marketing for undergraduates, located in the East and West Coasts of the United States.
Dell has summer internships for undergrads only here, in technical roles, as well as finance, product management, marketing and business.
Amazon has a number of internships for MBA, recent grads, and undergrads. For both technical and non-technical roles, search here. Amazon has become a global powerhouse, and as such, their internships are located all over the world, from Seattle to Hyderabad to Cape Town.
Disney’s college program offers hourly paid wages plus housing near the Disney resorts. What a fun way to spend the summer, with other college students, working at the most magical place on earth! Check it out here.
9. Hewlett-Packard (HP)
From HR to Marketing to Engineering, Computer Science, and Business, HP offers load of internship opportunities for students of all levels and all over the world!
10. Local Options
Don’t forget about your local community businesses! Not everyone works for the big, brand-name companies in the world. Try to make contacts with local business where you live, no matter how big or small. Even if they haven’t offered internships before doesn’t mean they can’t offer you one. Talk to them and tell them all the great ways you can help them now and in the future.
You can also search online for lesser-known opportunities, or for those that might fit better with your specific interests! Check out this internship directory, internships.com. Or, use indeed.com or linkedin.com to search internships for undergrad.
Now that you’ve got an idea of some of the amazing internships out there for college freshmen and undergrads, here’s how to make sure you get that golden opportunity!
3 Simple Steps to Land your Dream Internship
1. Do Your Research
Talk with professors at your school about potential internships in your field, and seek out peers (specifically students in the years above you!) who have had internships, or who know others with internships. Use your university! Most universities have career services, career counselors and alumni networks who can advise you on available opportunities and what to put on your application. Make sure to also check out networking events in your area for professional contacts who may be able to provide you with internships in your field.
2. Know and use the product
When applying for internships, always research the product or company. Know it inside and out, including what they offer and their mission statements. Use this deep knowledge to customize your resume and tailor your cover letter to show why you are the best fit for this company, specifically. In your cover letter, make sure to highlight how you fit with this company, and how the company fits in with your career goals. See yourself as part of the company’s “big picture.”
Bonus Tip: When crafting your application and writing a cover letter, try to think of out-of-the box ways to make your application stand out. For example, deliver your application in person to the office. Here is a great video on more ways to stand out during the application process:
3. Exude passion for the industry (even without much experience!)
Start side projects that show your passion for the field. For example, if you’re a marketing student, provide examples of marketing plans that you’ve created for small local businesses (whether or not they will ever be used).
For a computer science major, show off your programming skills by submitting any programs you’ve created for fun. And throughout the process, always try to turn a negative into a positive; don’t highlight the fact that you may not have experience. Instead use phrases like, “willing to learn,” or “eagerness to enter the field.” Your passion for the field and excitement about the product or company should outweigh your lack of paid job experience!
While it may seem challenging to land your dream internship as a college freshman, it is certainly possible with a bit of research, networking, and passion. Work out what you want, map out a plan to get there, then go out and achieve your dreams!