How to Be Successful in a “Last Minute” Internship Search


Picture this: after a hectic start, the semester is winding down, and after trudging through midterms and preparing for finals, you realize you’ve neglected that big goal you set for yourself—securing an internship. 

Sound familiar? If so, don’t fret! It’s not too late to land a resume-building internship experience.

Before you kick it into high gear to close out the end of the semester, take some intentional steps to make your internship search as painless and productive as possible.

1) Connect with the Handshake Career Portal

  • Register for Handshake, the Schar School graduate level online recruitment system. Ensure that your profile is up to date and you have your materials uploaded. Before uploading your documents, it is recommended you chat with a career advisor from the Schar School Career Development team to review your materials and ensure they are in tiptop shape.
  • Review the weekly Friday job email from the Schar School Career Development team. It is directly connected to Handshake, where all of the posts are listed. The most recently added jobs, internships, and fellowships are always included, along with school and local events that could be of interest to Schar School graduate students. If a job posting catches your eye, make sure you check it out through Handshake to learn more and do be sure to make note of the closing date. 

2) Polish Your Materials

  • Ensure your resume is up-to-date with your graduate school information. Many students neglect their resume once they begin classes. Your resume should be a living document, meaning it is always adapting and changing. Important items to include on your resume are: your graduate degree (in progress), relevant coursework, and major projects and organizations you’ve joined since you started your graduate program.
  • Prepare and review your cover letter(s). Make sure your cover letters aren’t just lists of your accomplishments. Many times, you’ll hear the phrase “show not tell” regarding cover letters. It’s important to provide a few examples that demonstrate the impact of your previous experiences, rather than squeezing in as many accomplishments as can fit on the page. You want to center your cover letter around what you would bring to the organization, rather than what an internship at the organization would do for you.

3) Visit the Career Center

  • Set up an appointment with the Career Development team to get some additional eyes on your internship search materials. The Career Development Office advisors can assist with formatting, proofreading, and more.
  • Schedule a mock interview with the Career Development team. Interviewing is scary and can be particularly intimidating if you haven’t done it recently. Reviewing behavioral interview questions and practicing your responses with us will help you feel more confident when you have a phone or in-person interview. 

4) Focus Your Search

  • Identify organizations that are your ideal or dream organizations to work for.
  • Set up search agents/email notifications on job boards and websites for upcoming opportunities for those organizations.
  • Don’t limit your search to your ideal organizations. Make sure you are researching other organizations in the same field that would able provide similar internship opportunities.
  • Network with individuals in those organizations and with those working in your desired field. Look to connect through LinkedIn, a professional organization, or through the Schar School Alumni Association. Take advantage of your interactions with your classmates, professors, and alumni in the Schar School to build your circle while you are earning your degree.

Connecting with Schar School resources, polishing your materials, and building out your network will ensure you’re successful in an internship search. It’s not too late; employers are still posting summer opportunities and looking for the right talent. Stay on top of your search, keep pushing out high-quality applications, be patient in the process, and you’ll be sure to secure your desired opportunity this summer!