Internships are an increasingly important way to gain professional experience before graduation.
In fact, the vast majority of employers have internship programs and more than half of interns are converted to full-time staff upon graduation. Internships vary greatly from one organization to the next: interns typically can work in a paid or unpaid capacity, with or without academic credit, and for a varied amount of time (one to twelve months). As an intern you can gain valuable hands-on experience, while evaluating your interests and planning your career goals.
Clarify your goals, priorities, and objectives. Are you willing to take an unpaid internship for the experience? What experiences are you seeking? If you have no prior experience, an unpaid internship may lead to paid experiences in the future. Just determine whether pay is expected in your field.
Use your network. Often the best sources of information are your departmental faculty and academic advisors. Many departments have established relationships with organizations that hire interns on a routine basis.
Keep using your network. Let people know you are seeking an intern experience, and be specific about what you’re searching for. Talk to friends who already have internships and ask what methods they used and found successful. Proactively use social media tools (see Your Online Image) to find opportunities.
Academic Departments. Many departments frequently share advertisements for intern positions. Some employers will notify specific faculty or staff members about internships, especially if they are seeking particular majors or skill sets. For a full listing, see Schools and Colleges or Degree Programs and Emphasis Areas.
Create your own opportunities. Research organizations where you are interested in interning, whether or not they are known to have a formal internship program. Although many large employers have more established programs, small organizations can offer wonderful experiences as well. Students can use Buzzfile, a powerful company search engine, to select their major and location to access hundreds of potential employers.
Explore professional organizations. Campus “branches” of professional organizations in your field (e.g., Society for Human Resource Management) can put you in contact with unadvertised positions.
Utilize Chambers of Commerce. They generally maintain online, searchable lists of companies that can help you identify good leads for possible internship opportunities.
HireMizzouTigers.com. If companies or non-profits contact Mizzou about hiring MU students for internships, they typically post those vacancies on the employment website, HireMizzouTigers.com. Go online to search positions and post your resume to employers.
Internships-USA. The Career Center subscribes to Internships-USA, an online database of internships sponsored by more than 2,800 employers nationwide. The access the site, login with
Featured Internships-USA Internship Guides:
Internships in International Affairs
The History Internship Book
The Human Rights Internship Book
The Museum Internship Book
The Resort Internship and Seasonal Employment Guide
The Sports Internship Book
The Women's Rights Internship Book
For the Common Good-Internships with Social and Community Service Agencies
Internships with America's Advertising Agencies
Internships with America's Top Companies
The Big Green Internship Book
The Congressional Internship Book
The Media Internship Guide
Washington Internships in Law and Policy
Other Internship Websites. There are a number of other websites with internship listings across the US, including:
Civic Leaders Internship Program (CLIP). If you are interested in working in government, consider the CLIP Program where interns serve the State of Missouri in publicly funded offices and receive academic credit. You can also contact a staff member at 207 Lowry Hall, 884-5744.
Office of Undergraduate Research. This office coordinates research internships that are available across campus in a variety of academic disciplines (not just science!). Contact 150 Life Science Center, 882-5979.
MU Career Services Offices. Check with the Career Services office for your academic school or college to speak with staff about internship opportunities.
Job Search Engines. Many job search sites exist that can help you find internships. Review the Job Search Series Handouts (organized by region and industry) or simply try a Google search. In addition, many organizations have a link to internship opportunities on their individual web sites.