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How To Get A Paid Internship

Last updated January 7, 2020

Looking for an internship is hard, but not impossible if you know where to look. We suggest five places where you can start your internship search and why these places are a good starting place.

1. Visit your advisor or Career Center 

They get the question, "Where can I find an internship?" all the time. They are the best people to connect you to which places are hiring students and can help you get your job application in order. There might even be workshops on interview skills, resume editing, or headshots.  Check into the CSUDH Career Center here.

2. Ask and grow your personal network

It's time to think about who you know, who they know, where they work, and who they may know is hiring. Getting a job through personal connections has become increasingly common. People you know (classmates, parents, mentors, professors, campus organization members, and their networks) want to see you succeed and will help. Ask around and set up informal meetups. Look at "social" events on CSUDH Toro Link page for networking meetups. 

You can also try informational interviewing. Informational interviewing is a way to ask a person in a field you’re interested in about their educational and career experiences. Reach out to someone who you’d like to know more about, set up a time to meet, and have questions prepared to learn more about them. Making this type of effort shows your desire to learn/grow. In the future if appropriate opportunities open up, this professional could remember you for them.

3. See if local businesses are hiring 

It can be easy to overlook the local companies around you when you're looking. See if they have a website with contact information and write them a quick email asking if they have a position available. You might have to write up what kind of duties you'd like to do. If you want, you can inquire in person for a position.

4. Your school's job portal or job board 

Most schools have a formal job portal or a more informal board. Find out how to create an account and check out the postings. The people/companies posting to these boards know the main audience is students and are more open to hiring students who don't have professional experience. Visit the CSUDH Handshake page. Handshake is a new job portal for students.

5. Use job searching websites 

Check out the postings and filter down your results by changing the experience level to internship. Get the gist of what companies are looking for and edit your resume to fit the job description. This doesn't mean lying, rather checking to see if your skills are relevant to the position. You can create job alerts for job titles so you spend less time combing through search results and more time learning or improving your skills.

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