How to Find, Apply, and Register for Internships
Finding an internship is a job search process! For more information about the job search process, including how to use informational interviewing as a search tool, see our Job Search Process handout.
Steps to Getting an Internship:
1. Decide what you want to do 2. Seek out internship opportunities and apply 3. Register for academic credit
Step 1: Deciding What You Want to Do
Just like jobs, most internship opportunities are not posted, and the majority of students obtain their internships through making direct contact with the company. This means you can’t just browse postings to see what you’re interested in; you have to figure out what kind of experience you want to gain (and where) before you start.
• Get ideas by using the Career Center’s Internship Database to search through past internships. (From http://career.boisestate.edu, click on the “Internship Application for Academic Credit” link on the homepage and log in using your Boise State username and password.) Select your department and browse through the descriptions of internships other students in your major have done.
• Your internship should be as closely related to your post-graduation career goals as possible. If you don’t know your career goal yet, one resource to use in exploring your options is “What Can I do With This Major?” available from the Career Center homepage. You can also meet with a Career Counselor to take a career assessment and explore what type of career and internship you should be pursuing. See the Career Planning handout for additional web resources and information.
Step 2: Seeking Out Opportunities and Applying
There are many different ways to get an internship. You can apply to companies with a formalized internship program, you can seek out companies who hire interns as they come but don’t recruit for them, or you can create your own internship.
• BroncoJobs is a good resource for searching for posted internship opportunities. Remember when you look that you are only seeing postings from companies recruiting at that exact time, so get in the habit of checking BroncoJobs regularly so you see new opportunities as they come up.
• Use the Internship Database to get ideas of companies you’d be interested in interning for. Select your department and browse the internships other students in your major have done, or if you’re already interested in a specific company, find it in the Organization drop down menu to see what kinds of internships that company has had. Develop a list of target companies and check their websites for information on internships. But…
• DON’T limit yourself to posted internships! Most internships students complete were never posted, which is why it’s important to start by deciding what you want to do and identifying companies to pursue. Just because a company doesn’t have internships currently posted, it doesn’t mean they don’t offer internships or wouldn’t offer one.
• Conduct informational interviews. This is where you would contact someone working at a company of interest and ask questions to gather information about the company and their needs. Even more important, informational interviewing is the best strategy for getting in the door to talk to the company when you’re looking for internships, and also allows you to expand your professional network. For in-depth information about informational interviewing, see the Job Search Process handout.
• Pitch an idea. Research your companies of interest, explore what needs they might have that you could help address for them as an intern, develop an idea for an internship, and pitch it to them. Companies you find in the internship database are good places to start, because you know they might be more receptive to the idea of an intern. You can do this with any company of interest, though. Non-profit organizations are great places to use this approach as well since they rely heavily on the initiative of interns and volunteers to further their organization’s goals.
• Have a strong resume ready. Your resume should highlight your relevant skills, experiences, and activities, and should be targeted to the internship you’re applying for. You may also be asked for a cover letter. For full information on how to create these, see our Resume and Cover Letter handouts.
• Be aware of if you are in a major that has a different internship process. While the vast majority of students will use the process described here, there are a few majors (mainly the professional programs such as Education or Social Work), that have a different process for how you get set up with your internships/field experiences. If you’re not sure, talk to an advisor in your department.
Step 3: Registering for Academic Credit
Once you have secured an internship with a company, you may then begin the registration process. Note that you may choose whether or not to receive academic credit for your internship, although some majors DO require you to complete an internship for credit. You can earn 1 credit for each 45-50 hours of work.
To determine whether or not an opportunity can be considered for academic credit, you must review your opportunity with your department internship coordinator. If you don’t know who that is, you can find a listing by department on our website at: http://career.boisestate.edu/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2013/03/Department-Internship-Coordinators.pdf. The coordinator must first evaluate the work you are doing to ensure it meets department guidelines and help you decide how many credits the internship should be assigned. Once you have identified your internship and are ready to register for the internship course, you will need to complete an online application.
Completing the Online Internship Application
1. Access the Internship Database (https://web.boisestate.edu/internships/) by clicking on the “Internship Application for Academic Credit” link found on the Career Center homepage at: http://career.boisestate.edu.
2. Log in using your Boise State username and password.
3. Click on the plus (+) sign next to the “Internship Application for Academic Credit” option on the left side menu, and then click on “Create Application” to begin your application. (If you do not see the option to “Create Application,” contact the Career Center for help – 426-1747 or firstname.lastname@example.org.)
4. Enter all required information, and then click SUBMIT. (If you do not have all the information, you can hit SAVE and come back to it at another time, but remember, it is not submitted until you hit SUBMIT.)
5. Once submitted, the application will be sent to your department internship coordinator for approval – he/she will get an email notification asking them to approve your internship.
6. Once approved by your department internship coordinator, it will then be sent via email to your supervisor at the place you’re doing your internship for approval.
7. Once approved by the organization supervisor, it will be sent via email to the Registrar’s Office, and the approved internship course will be added to your class schedule in myBoisestate (Student Center). Please note that you will NOT be registered for your internship course until your department internship coordinator and organization supervisor approve your internship application.
Completing the Online Orientation Workshop
Before beginning your internship for academic credit, you are required to complete a very short online orientation workshop and quiz. Follow these instructions to complete the workshop and quiz:
1. Log back into the Internship Database (https://web.boisestate.edu/internships/).
2. Click on the (+) sign next to “Internship Application for Academic Credit” on the left side menu.
3. Click on “View On-line Orientation Workshop” to watch the short YouTube video.
4. After you finish watching the video, you will be prompted to take a quiz.
5. Complete the 10 question quiz and click “Submit”. You may also print your quiz.
Still have questions about the internship process or need further assistance?
The Career Center can help! http://career.boisestate.edu • 426-1747 • email@example.com