Summer internships are often seen as the domain of upperclassmen looking to get some real-world experience under their belt before they graduate. In some cases an internship may even be a requirement for graduation. However, more and more underclassmen are interested in getting summer internships to get a head start and boost their resume. Though it may be more difficult to get an internship as an underclassman, it is possible. Even if you don't land the internship you were looking for, the experience of applying and interviewing is valuable in and of itself, and will come in handy next summer.
Use Your School's Resources
Your school's career services department will be happy to help you in your search for a summer internship. Meet with an adviser at the department to get started on the process. Advisers can also help you with your resume and answer any questions you may have.
Network with Friends and Family
Networking with friends and family members is another great way to look for summer internships. If a friend or family member can put in a good word for you with the internship director, you establish a connection that other candidates don't have. This is an easy way to start out on the right foot.
If you have a specific field you want to get into, start a blog about some of your interests within this field. This demonstrates your interest to potential employers in a very tangible way, and serves as a venue for you to show what you know.
Do Informational Interviews
Even if a company you're interested in doesn't have an internship program, ask if you can do an informational interview with someone there. In an informational interview, you get to ask the questions, which will help you understand how the industry you're interested in works, and how you can get into it. If your interviewer is impressed, he or she may even offer you an internship opportunity, but don't go into these kinds of interviews expecting this to be the outcome.
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