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Tips for Landing a Last Minute Summer Internship

"I don't have a summer internship!  Is it too late?"  In short: NO.  However, with only 4 weeks until summer break. It’s going to take a lot of work and effort to land a summer internship.  You’re going to need to really want it. Below are some tips for obtaining a position.  

  1. If you haven’t already done so, register with ECS!! As of this week, there are over 350 engineering internships and co-ops posted on our job board, CareerEngine.  If you aren’t registered with us, you won't have access to these OSU engineering specific job postings! Info for registration can be found here.
  2. Assuming you are registered, start/continue applying! We recommend applying to at least 30 jobs per semester.  While it may be a stretch to apply to that many this late in the game, there are certainly jobs out there for which you can apply.  Set a weekly goal and keep track of your applications.
  3. Utilize job search sites beyond CareerEngine.  While CareerEngine and company websites are a must, there are plenty of additional websites that you can use to find jobs.  Some good ones include: Indeed, Glassdoor, Ohio Mean Jobs, and NACElink (found in CareerEngine under the "Jobs" tab).
  4. Use your personal network. Now is the time of year to think about friends of friends, your parents’ acquaintances, etc.  Do you know someone who works at a company of interest? Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and ask if they are looking for help this summer.
  5. Reach back out to your professional network.  Did you meet an employer at the SWE Fair who told you to follow up in a few months? Did you connect with a potential employer at Job Shadow? This is the perfect time to reconnect with any potential employers.  Let them know that you are still looking and would like to know if they have available openings for the summer.
  6. Be flexible.  In regards to location, think “radius” and not “city”.  Don’t limit yourself – recognize the difference between preference and necessity. Some companies do provide relocation and housing assistance. If you’ve only been targeting big name companies, you need to broaden your search. An internship is not a lifelong commitment.  Be open to anything that will give you hands-on experience in your field.
  7. Troubleshoot your search. Have you already been applying to a lot of jobs but not getting interviews? If so, your resume may be holding you back.  Come in to ECS for a resume review. Are you getting interviews but no second rounds or no offers? Get help with your interview skills.  Schedule a mock interview with ECS or utilize InterviewStream, our online mock interview program (see the homepage of CareerEngine for link).
  8. Think about alternative options. What is your “Plan B” if you do not get an internship? Think about what you can do this summer that can still be beneficial to your learning and also enhance your resume.  Examples include: working with a professor on research, volunteering at a local hospital or engineering firm, taking classes, or working a non-engineering summer job that can showcase or improve transferable skills (communication, customer service, teamwork).  Also consider applying to an autumn (or spring) internship or co-op instead of Summer.

While these next few weeks will understandably be very busy as you prepare for final examinations, you can still carve out time to focus on the internship search.  Good luck!

"If opportunity doesn't knock, build a door."
-Milton Berle

About the author

Katy Arenschield

Katy Arenschield is the Engineering Co-op and Internship Program Manager.