Ten steps to landing the perfect summer internship (outside of on-campus recruiting/OCR):
- Perfect your résumé and cover letter. Career Services is here for you. Read samples, write multiple drafts, and get feedback.
- Go to Career Services workshops. They hold multiple workshops a month on different internship-search strategies, and they serve as a great guide.
- Join PennLink and iNet (two of Penn’s great internship resources), Indeed, Glassdoor, as well as some less mainstream internship sites, e.g., Planted (for start-ups).
- Attend club panels and workshops to figure out what interests you, what other upperclassmen have done, and what tips they found helpful.
- Check out the Wharton Career Plans Surveys on the Career services website to see where other students worked when they were in your grade, and check out the companies that interest you.
- Leverage contacts and Wharton/Penn alumni. LinkedIn and QuakerNet are great resources to find people doing cool things at companies you would be interested in working at. Cold email them with something like “I would love to learn about possible opportunities at your company” or you can just ask to talk to them to learn more about what they do.
- Attend career, start-up, creative-career, and other fairs/conferences each semester to see what companies are out there and get face time with the recruiters. While this usually won’t lead directly to an internship, it’s a great way to find out more about companies, their available internships, and the steps for applying.
- Don’t lose hope. Most sophomores and freshman don’t receive offers until March or later. Also don’t be afraid to try something outside your comfort zone or something you’ve never done before. The point of internships is to learn!
- Apply to internships at least once a week, even if you are in the process of interviewing.
- Practice for interviews and know how to answer common questions; Career Services offers mock interviews every week, and every semester you can sign up to do a mock interview with an MBA in a field your interested in as well.
With all these resources and more available through Penn and Wharton and with some hard work and determination, you can find great internships to fill your summers and grow your perspective and skill set.