Finding an Internship

Establish Your Goals

  • What are your academic and career interests and goals?  
  • How can an internship help you accomplish these goals?

Get Ideas and Do Research

  • Where have Mount Holyoke College students interned in the past, relating to your interests?  Refer to the Internship Network Reports in the CDC Library.
  • Explore types of organizations, industries and positions, to narrow your focus. Refer to the CDC’s online career subscriptions in LyonNet such as Spotlight on Careers and Vault Online Career Library.  Browse the CDC’s bi-weekly Top Ten Internships (in LyonNet and by email) for ideas.  Star your ‘favorites’ in LyonNet or make notes for future reference. 

Define Parameters

  • Timing (semester, academic year, summer or January-term? This year or in the future?)
  • Geographic preferences (close to home, in the US or abroad?)
  • Type of organization (Fortune 100 Corporation or not-for-profit?), size and position (internship or research?)
  • $ (can you afford to take an unpaid opportunity?)

Find or Create an Opportunity

Once you have established the general type of internship or research project you are interested in pursuing, now is the time to use the 
resources available:

MHC Opportunities
Multiple pre-arranged expense-paid internship and research opportunities are coordinated by MHC centers and departments. Click here for a complete list.

Online Resources
  • LyonNet–resume, internship and job search recruiting system with hundreds of opportunities posted by employers and alumnae to recruit MHC students for positions in the US and abroad.
  • LACN (accessed through LyonNet) – Liberal Arts Career Network is a consortium of 31 top small liberal arts colleges, with access to internship and job postings from all 31 schools.
  • Internships-USA (accessed through LyonNet) - largest internship site on the web with over 3,000 internships.
  • JobX (accessed through LyonNet) –paid, local, semester-based, on and off-campus student employment positions.

Weissman Center for Community Based Learning  
Courses, independent studies, local semester-based community internships, research and service projects that combine learning and analysis with action and social change. 

Develop Your Own Experience
Parents, relatives, friends, friends of friends, past employers, MHC faculty, CDC or department advisors, high school teachers or guidance counselors and others may help you identify prospective sites.  We recommend attending a Networking workshop to help you map important contacts and present and market yourself.  Consider the following:
    1. Did you have a previous internship or job experience and you would like to return?  
    2. Do your parents, friends or faculty have connections at an organization that interests you? 
    3. Think of your dream internship, organization or admired leaders in the field.  Aim high; send your resume, a wellcrafted self-introduction (CDC can help with this) and give them a call!

MHC Alumnae
  • Career Network is a networking directory for alumnae and students to get in touch and stay connected.  Alums are an excellent resource for information & mentorship only - do not ask for an internship or housing.
  • Ask alumnae for industry insight, reflections on their career path, and about common career interests.
  • Conduct informational interviews with alumnae to learn about their professions and suggestions on how to gain direct experience in their field.  
  • Ask for suggestions of other people or resources (books or websites) that would help you.
  • Look into the Alumnae Association Alumnae Stay program where alums volunteer their home to students or other alums for short-term visits; inquire with the alum only if she directly posts an opportunity in the program.
  • Be sure to thank the alumna, through email or a letter, for taking time with you.

CDC Library
    • Student Internship Reports – a collection of student reports on prior internship and research experiences.
    • Books and journals on different career fields, organizations, position types, domestic and abroad.

The Next Steps

Create a Resume
  • Go to www.mtholyoke.edu/cdc/resume-guide for the Resume Guide.
  • Attend a resume workshop (see LyonNet Calendar for dates) or have your resume reviewed at the CDC.
  • Upload your resume to LyonNet and have it approved by a CDC advisor to enable you to apply for all LyonNet positions.

Create a Cover Letter
To accompany your resume & highlight your skills, interest in the organization, and why you would be a good fit for them. Go to the Cover Letter Guide for tips.

Apply
  • Discuss your intern search strategy with a CDC advisor, faculty, or other MHC advisors.
  • Apply to multiple opportunities – do not pin all of your hopes on one opportunity.
  • Pre-determined programs - follow their application instructions.
  • Creating Your Own Opportunity
    • Make Contact - Write to a prospective sponsor first to notify them of your interest or make a phone call (phone calls are usually done when you already know the individual).
    • Suggest Possible Responsibilities - Some organizations may not have ever considered interns. Or, if there is an existing program, share your ideas about your particular area of interest or skills to see if it could be incorporated into your assignment with them.

Follow up!  
Send a follow-up letter to any correspondence you previously had with a potential internship site or alumna, whether it was through e-mail, telephone, or a letter. 

Funding
If you are pursuing an unpaid or partially-paid summer opportunity, consider applying for Internship/Research Funding 
through MHC’s Universal Application Funding program (UAF).  Visit www.mtholyoke.edu/go/UAF for more information.

Visit the CDC for Help- We are here for you!
  • Peer Career Advisors - available in the CDC library anytime we are open without an appointment.
  • Advisors - available through 15 minute drop-ins and 30 minute scheduled appointments.  
  • Workshops - Visit the CDC Calendar in LyonNet for helpful workshops on marketing yourself, interviewing skills, networking, UAF workshops, informational panels with alumnae or industry specialists, and much more.