Does (insert company name) offer internships?

by on December 8, 2010

If you’ve been reading our daily employer profiles religiously as you should, you’ve probably noticed that we cover a lot of companies that don’t have internships posted at the time we feature them. You may find this annoying, or you may just be curious about why we do it. There are a few reasons:

  • Your internship search should be focused on finding interesting companies, not specific positions.
  • If you apply before a company posts an internship, sometimes you can land the position with no competition.
  • Many companies will create positions for you if you pitch them effectively.
  • Companies that have had interns in the past are very likely to have interns in the future.
  • Waiting for a company to post an internship is a good way to stall yourself into inaction.

I could keep going on about why you should apply to companies that don’t currently have internships posted, but if you don’t already get it, you probably won’t. The point is that you can significantly boost your internship search by finding two key pieces of information.

  1. Has your company of interest offered internships in the past?
  2. If so, what kind of internships did they offer?

This information may seem hard to find, since job and internship postings often disappear once the position is filled, but I’ve found a trick to answering these two questions.

How Do I Find Out If a Company Had Interns in the Past?

This is stupid simple, but it works in a large majority of cases. Let’s use BrandMuscle, the company that we featured today, as an example. They don’t have any internships posted right now; however, look what happens when you try the following Google search: “Intern at BrandMuscle”

Intern at BrandMuscle Google Search

Yeah, it's that easy. Just use Google to search for 'intern at (company name)'

If you look closely, you’ll notice that the top results are from LinkedIn. That’s what we want. We’re using Google instead of LinkedIn’s search because Google is much better at finding specific phrases in content. Sometimes Google’s results for this kind of query may not be exactly what you want, and if that’s the case, you can try this variation: site:linkedin.com “Intern at BrandMuscle”

Site Operator LinkedIn Search

The site: operator can be extremely helpful for narrowing down search results to those from a specific site.

That’s it. Not every company has interns with LinkedIn profiles, but LinkedIn is so ubiquitous with college students these days that any company that has had more than a handful of interns should turn up in some LinkedIn profiles.

Now, if you don’t find any evidence of past internships at a company in your area of interest, don’t give up. You should still reach out to the company and see what they think about having you intern with them. It’s worth a shot.

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