Step 1: Internship

internship

The most important part of the internship and job search is to start strong. Know what you want to do, and where you can look for these positions in your field of interest. The following sections will detail common brainstorming tactics, as well as tips on how to find the internship of your dreams. Don't forget to check out our forms section below to see what you may have to turn in to your advisor to ensure you are on-track. 

How to Search

Location-based searching

Don’t confine your search to just Washington, D.C.! The D.C. Metro makes cities in Maryland and Virginia easily reachable.

For example, College Park, MD is less than 10 miles away from the UC Washington Center and is reachable by the metro!

Effective strategies

Start early! Some internships have earlier deadlines than the Washington Program, so you want to stay aware of these. Keep in mind that some internships require a background check, which could potentially take months.

Keep your options open! Apply to a few big name options, but also some smaller organizations. Just because an organization is smaller or less well-known doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have anything to offer! Many times, smaller organizations can offer their interns a more personalized internship experience and more responsibilities. Be sure to use more pointed search terms in order to narrow your search. If you already have an idea of where you would like to intern, take some time to research that organization’s webpage and compare it with some of the places you’ve found on your own. What type of language does your “favorite” organizations use to describe their internships/organization? Would those labels be helpful in refining your internship searches?

Don’t write off internships that only have semester dates! Quarter internships are hardly ever advertised, but the majority of organizations are happy to make exceptions for you

Come to drop-in hours, make an appointment, or contact the Program Advisor in Washington, D.C. to discuss your options if you feel that you need more guidance.

How to find an internship not listed online

Just because an organization hasn’t posted anything online doesn’t mean that they don’t want an intern!

  • Keep in mind that semester internships are commonly listed while quarter internships will most likely not be.

If there’s an organization you really want to intern with, don’t be afraid to send an email inquiry!

  • If you need help with writing a professional inquiry, please see the "Help With Professional Correspondence" section under "Step 4: Professionalism" for guidance on what to include in your email.
Keep your advisors updated!

We can best assist you in your internship search if you keep us updated of new developments.

While we want to be kept in the loop, please don’t CC us or the Program Administrator in emails you send to organizations.

 
If you haven't heard back yet

This all depends on how long ago you applied!


Less than two weeks ago:
  • Try to be patient. Don’t contact an organization earlier than two weeks after you submitted your application.
Two weeks ago:
  • Call (preferred) or email the organization to confirm they received your application materials and find out where they are in the selection process.
  • If you email, see our guidance under the "Help With Professional Correspondence" section for what to include.

Note: If an organization gives specific instructions (do not contact them, no phone calls, etc.) please make sure to follow them. If instructions say not to contact them, email the Program Administrator in D.C. for help.

Brainstorming

The internship search starts with YOU!

In order to effectively conduct an internship search, you need to first think broadly about what career fields interest you and what you hope to achieve during your time in Washington D.C.

Start by listing up to 5 broad career fields you are intrigued by:

  1. _____________
  2. _____________
  3. _____________
  4. _____________
  5. _____________

Next, compile a list of skills that you are hoping to practice or develop in your internship:

  1. _____________
  2. _____________
  3. _____________
  4. _____________
  5. _____________
  6. _____________

What type of organizations would you consider working for?

  1. _____________
  2. _____________
  3. _____________
  4. _____________
  5. _____________

What type of organizations would you consider working for?

______________________________________________________________

Internship Forms