How to Find a Last Minute Summer Internship

by on June 10, 2008

Last Minute Internships

As you may have noticed, we’re taking 2 weeks off from internship hunting. We’ll resume our daily company profiles on June 23rd, but the focus will shift to Fall internships.

It’s June 10th. If you haven’t already found a Summer internship, the odds that you will are pretty slim. With that said, there are still opportunities out there, but you’ll have to work hard to find them. Here are some tips on finding a last minute summer internship as well as tips on what to do if you don’t land an internship.

Keep on Truckin’

Don’t give up quite yet. Although we stopped posting about Summer internships, you can still find one if you put in the effort.

Browse our Archives – We’ve covered over 100 companies and their internships. Some are still hiring. Reading these company profiles should at the very least give you new ideas on how to pursue a last minute Summer internship.

Go Local – Very few companies are going to take on interns from out of town at this point. The hiring process is too much of a hassle, and they don’t want to deal with helping you find housing. Think about what companies are located in your surrounding area. Read our article on how to Localize Your Job Search for specific tips on how to find companies near where you live that are hiring.

Cold Call – Some companies already hired interns but wouldn’t mind taking on another. Some interns suck and need to be replaced. Some companies never thought to hire an intern, but they’re open to being convinced. Few employers are still recruiting interns at this point, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be selling. Guess what, we’ve also written an article on Cold Calling.

Ask Your Parents and Their Friends – I know how much you hate talking to your parents about this stuff, but you need to get over it. Don’t just ask them to get you an internship. Ask them more specific questions like, “Do you know anybody who works in sports marketing?” or “Doesn’t your co-worker Bob’s wife work at Initrode? Would she be willing to talk to me?”

Consider Unpaid Internships – Have you been ignoring unpaid internships out of principle? Because you NEED money? Give it up. I know it sucks and it’s wrong, but deal with it. A lot of internships can be part-time. Intern 3 days a week, and work another job the rest of the time. Your average hourly wage might come to $2.57 an hour, but at least you’ll be making some money and gaining valuable on the job experience at the same time.

Consider Non-Profits – As we filled out the last few weeks of internships, we noticed that there are a lot more last minute non-profit internships available than at for-profits. We’ve featured two non-profits with internships every weekend since we started. There are many more out there. Idealist.org is a great place to look.

Read Our Articles – We do most of our writing on One Day, One Job because it’s our main site. We’ve already mentioned a couple articles, but you should also read:

How to Use Google to Find a Job

Managing Your Personal Brand Online

9 Magazine Lists That Will Help You Find a Job

Why Every College Job Searcher Needs RSS

The Couch Potato’s Guide to Job Search

Turning the Tables: Digging Dirt on Employers

These articles may be tailored to entry-level job search, but they’re extremely relevant to internship search as well.

Use Craigslist – This tip came from a friend of mine who is a recruiter. A lot of companies use Craigslist for immediate hiring needs. Go to your local Jobs section and search for both “intern” and “internships.” Some of the listings seem pretty sketchy, but it’s worth giving them a shot and seeing what opportunities are out there.

Schedule an Informational Interview – This could almost be on the list of what to do when you give up on finding an internship. Find someone who works in an industry or at a company that you find interesting. Ask for an informational interview with the person. Have a somewhat informal conversation about what they do and how you could better prepare yourself to do something similar. If the “interview” goes well, ask the person if he or she knows of any last minute internship opportunities at similar companies. Do not ask for an internship with the person, that eliminates the purpose of the interview’s being informational. If she likes you, thinks you’re smart, and could use an intern, she will present the opportunity when you ask if she knows of anything.

Give Up

At some point it’s too late. Most Summer breaks are 3 months long, and most internships last 10-12 weeks. Not many companies will want to invest in training an intern who is only going to work for a month. As it gets the later in the season, you need to reevaluate your Summer plans and find a way to make the most of your time.

Get a Summer Job – Earn some money and get some work experience. You may not learn high level skills, but you’ll learn a lot about yourself and other people. MyFirstPaycheck.com is a great resource for Summer jobs.

Create Your Own Internship – The Internet is an amazing tool. You can start your own business and learn an amazing amount in a short time. If you’re self-motivated, create a project for yourself. Build a website. Do a research project. Start blogging. Create a product and write a business plan. The opportunities are endless with an Internet connection.

Volunteer – Go do something to make the world a better place. If you pick the right project, you might learn a lot more than you would as an intern at some company.

Travel – Go somewhere interesting and learn about something. Whether you visit a historic village 20 miles from your house, or go half way around the world, do something that will broaden your horizons. Just make sure that wherever you go gives you a good answer for when a job interviewer asks, “What did you do last Summer?”

Read – Devour books that are relevant to your interests. Fiction is nice, but it won’t do you much good unless you’re in a creative field. Start working towards becoming an expert in something – anything. If you feel guilty about your relaxation, you’ll get depressed. You’ll end up “relaxing” all summer, but you won’t feel very relaxed.

Relax – It may not be productive, but it sure does feel nice. Don’t let not having an internship get you depressed. If you’re going to spend time relaxing, try to be guilt free about it. That way you’ll eventually get bored and go do something.

Those are our recommendations for what you should do if you still don’t have plans for the Summer. Good luck, and if you have any questions, please leave a comment. We’ll be more than happy to help you find a last minute Summer internship.

Photo Credit: Flickr user Matsuyuki

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Austin June 10, 2008 at 10:02 am

Again, right on the mark!

Reply

Jules June 11, 2008 at 12:37 pm

There’s another side to this story. I represent an employer looking for a last minute intern to train during the summer and continue their internship into the fall. We had two interns lined up to join us for the summer at the end of April, but one couldn’t find summer housing and at the last minute the other was offered a paying job that blew our bonus structure out of the water.
Some additional advice, offer to start your fall internship early! Employers love the initiative and will likely appreciate the reduction in training time during your actual internship.
In the mean time, if you or someone you know is looking for an internship that fits the above timing in the finance field in Charlotte NC, contact me at julia.b.welsh@ampf.com
Jules
Business Development Manager
Ameriprise Financial

Reply

Phyllis Zimbler Miller June 13, 2008 at 9:24 pm

In terms of asking parents and their friends for help in getting an internship — it is important to start paying attention to where your parents’ friends work as well as where the parents of your friends work. In my coaching of high school teens I’ve noticed a lack of interest in what the adults around them “do” for a living.

It’s an interesting brain teaser to sit down and list all the adults you know reasonably well and then try to list what they do. It may be surprising to learn that you already know numerous people who could help you find an unpaid internship this summer.

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Willy June 17, 2008 at 9:35 pm

Thanks for the great comments. They’ll definitely help those last minute internship searchers.

Reply

Akshay Subramaniam November 25, 2010 at 12:34 am

Hi,
I know this is the wrong forum to ask, but as a student from a B-School in India (IIFT) and a gonna-be exchange student at Hanken , FInland ,I was wondering whether I could get internship anywhere in Europe…( unpaid , of course…I cannot legally work there )
WE have some alum even in top corps like Nokia there… so is it worth a try, or are intern opportunities only restricted to the natives??

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Brandon Garcia September 7, 2011 at 1:49 am

You gave really great advice. These are all handy tips I wish I would have had when I was in the process of obtaining an internship! My goal at the time was just to apply to as many as I could until somebody told me, “yes, you’re hired.” You did a great job of including information for everyone, not just a select group. For example, some people might have just needed advice on how approach an internship while others may have been looking for resources to actually get an internship. I like how all your advice was positive and well rounded. You were very motivational in your persuasion to get people not to give up on finding an internship. You even offered advice for those people who opted not get an internship for the summer; that they should do research online or start a product. These are all great ways to be sure that at least your doing something, not just wasting your time over the summer. Thanks for your help. It was quite useful.

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