Search Tips

How to Search and Prepare

Internships Search Tips

student working on their computer

Search and Apply for an Internship

There are many ways to find an internship, but we have identified three primary methods to find internships that are based upon they are found by students.

  1. Advertised Internships: Those that are advertised widely and found through search platforms and Career Fairs. Candidates apply in the same way they would for a permanent job with a resume, cover letter and an interview. This is the most competitive way to find internships.
  2. Hidden Internships: We call them "hidden" because they are not widely advertised outside a company or organization. Finding "hidden" opportunities typically requires a deeper level of research through company websites, LinkedIn, and networking and connecting with professionals in career fields related to your major. 
  3. Self-Created Internships: Typically take place in organizations that may not have a program in place. This usually require networking with professionals in career fields related to your major, and working with the organization to create a mutually beneficial experience. For personalized guidance on creating your own internship, email our Internships Coordinator.

Determine what you want in an internship and what you want to achieve from it.  Ask yourself:

  • What type of company or organization do I want to work for?
  • What type of work do I hope to do?
  • What skills do I want to learn or expand upon?
  • How would this work relate to my academic coursework and career goals?

    Search online databases, job-posting sites and PSU resources to determine what opportunities there are for advertised positions. 

    Handshake is the job and internship database exclusively for PSU students and alumni. You can find additional databases and websites in our online resources below. Keep in mind that no single database or job board has all positions, so be sure to explore multiple resources.  

          Additional Online Internship/Job Platforms:

    Discover a hidden internship or create your own internship opportunity through networking and informational interviewing. Faculty and academic advisers in your department of study are great resources and may know which organizations regularly host internships. Speak with family, friends, and community members. Spread the word that you’re looking for an internship in your field. Networking is a key part of any job search, and the same holds true for an internship search. You may find the Networking and Employer Contact worksheet helpful in brainstorming.

    Other creative ways to find internship opportunities and networking options:

    What Can I Do With a Degree In...?  is an excellent resource for student looking for internships.  It is a PSU webpage that allows students to access major-related resources and information -- including list of employers (with links to their websites) who have previously posted internship and job opportunities for specific majors on Handshake in the past. These lists may help you brainstorm options for your internship search and may also give you ideas for career options as well.  


    You will need a CUSTOMIZED, well-written cover letter and a polished and tailored resume for every position for which you apply.