Starting the search for an internship can feel daunting. There are so many websites, so many options, and so many applications to be filled out. The search process may feel overwhelming at first, but in order to land a great internship, the process starts with you.

Here are a few ways to make the process feel less scary and lead you to a more productive search process.

1. Start with self-reflection. What are you passionate about?

Many students approach the internship search process with an open mind, willing to do anything or work anywhere. This mindset can be advantageous as you open yourself up to a broad range of opportunities. However, the value of an internship may increase if you pursue a field or position around your passions. Think about why you chose your major, what classes you have enjoyed the most and what goals you want to accomplish. Use the results of your reflection to guide your search on websites like Handshake, LinkedIn and Indeed.

2. Conduct research to discover internships that suit your passions.

Once you reflect on what is important to you and what you would like to gain experience in, use that knowledge to fuel your research. If you are passionate about digital marketing or child development, use those as keywords for your internship search. Broaden your search by rotating between keywords on multiple websites to understand the scope of your areas of interest. Make sure you are using credible internship search websites such as Handshake, LinkedIn and Indeed. Ultimately, look for companies and recruiters offering positions that genuinely pique your interest.

3. Pursue your dreams!

It is important to apply to a broad range of internships to increase your options. In some cases, you may be accepted to multiple internships and then must decide which internship to choose. If you are struggling to decide, see if you can connect with people who participated in the internships before to ask them about their experience.

Peer Internship Ambassador Brianna Reynolds has done six internships. She recommends asking previous interns at an organization what your potential supervisors are like.

“The difference between a good internship and bad internship is how much your manager takes an active role in helping you learn what you want to learn while you are at the organization,” said Reynolds.

Ask your academic department admin if they have a list of students and what internships they have done. If you find someone has done an internship at a company of interest, reach out to them and ask about their experience.

Biola’s Career Center can also help provide guidance and support in your internship search. If you would like advice about searching for and finding a good internship experience, head over to Handshake to make an appointment with the Career Center!

Andrea Johnson (‘20) graduated with a degree in Psychology.