Learn more about finding internships.
Looking for an internship? Use this checklist to guide you through the process and check Handshake for plenty of opportunities to connect with employers and alumni.
Important Update for Spring 2021: The Career Center Summer Internship Grant application is live! Learn more and view the application here.
Remember: You’re welcome (and encouraged!) to chat with a career advisor as you complete any/all of these steps.
Engage in self-assessment
Establish a timeline and specific goals for your search
How much time will you be able to devote to your internship search? Schedule it into your week, much as you would any class, club or other obligation. Set aside time for each of the steps listed here, i.e., learning about careers, preparing a resume and cover letters, searching for and evaluating positions, tailoring documents, applying, and following up.
Set SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound) goals for yourself, e.g., “This week, I’ll schedule a Career Center quick question appointment for a resume review and look at least 5 internship listings on two different search sites.”
As you plan, remember that different career fields have different recruiting timelines! Your process may not look like someone else’s, and that’s to be expected.
Learn about career paths and employers
There are numerous ways to research careers and employers, and we encourage you to begin with our Explore Careers and Majors section. You’ll find tools like “What Can I Do With This Major?“, which will give you a sense of the variety of career paths for people with your major and interests, as well as other ways to research companies and get industry news.
Finally, networking (a.k.a. connecting with people to exchange information and develop contacts) is one of the most effective ways to learn about careers and employers. Best of all, you can learn from anyone: classmates, professors, past internship supervisors, family members, friends, and Tufts alumni. We offer many career programs and events throughout the year to help you meet alumni and employers.
Another way to connect with people is to create a LinkedIn profile and reach out to alumni in the Tufts Career Network (Tufts’ largest LinkedIn group!) for advice in the form of a career conversation, also called an informational interview — a conversation with someone who can give you insider info about a profession, employer or industry. Another neat resource? Use the LinkedIn Alumni Tool to see where Tufts grads are working, what they studied, where they’re located, and more!
Refine your application materials
Whether you’re new to resume and cover letter writing or have revised your documents many times, we can help! Visit our Resume and Cover Letter pages for content tips, formatting best practices, sample documents, and more. Remember: Career Advisors and Career Fellows are available every day for resume and cover letter reviews.
Search for internships and determine how well they match with your criteria
In addition to your networking efforts, you can find many internships online through Handshake (the Tufts database for jobs, internships and virtual career fairs). Also, see our Internship Listings page and our Career Communities for resources just for Tufts students, internship search engines, and region-specific websites. We’ve also included resources related to internship searching during COVID-19. Review our Internship Funding page to learn more about the Career Center Summer Internship Grants and other programs. International students, view these resources if you’re interested in pursuing a virtual internship.
Tailor your documents and apply to positions
Before you apply, you’ll need to customize your application, i.e., make it clear to the employer that your resume and cover letter are meant for their organization and position. This means demonstrating that you possess the requisite qualifications in the job description, as well as showing that you’ve researched the employer and can convey reasons why you’re interested in what they do. Use this cover letter worksheet for assistance with matching skills/experiences to an employer’s needs.
Follow up on applications and plan next steps
Follow up with employers about a week or two after applying (unless they specifically prohibit follow-up). You’re welcome to ask about the status of your application, get info about the hiring timeline (unless those details are already online), or offer additional materials. Brush up on your interviewing skills in preparation for conversations with employers.
Internships & COVID: We encourage you to review our Expectations During COVID policy for students if you’re considering an internship.