Internship Search Tips

Download “Making the Most of your Internship Experience”

Before Applying

  • Plan early! Some organizations (i.e Federal Government) have deadlines as early as November. Most of the openings for summer internships will occur between December and March. Ideally, do research during the fall semester and begin to make inquiries over winter break.
  • If you are applying for grants to support your internship, pay attention to those specific deadlines and required application procedures.
  • Before searching, consider your goals and ask yourself a few questions. What career fields interest you? What do you hope to gain from your internship? What types of organizations interests you? What locations?
  • Contact potential references early to ensure that all your application materials will be submitted on time.
  • Develop a plan and be proactive in your search. While these can be a great resources, don’t only rely on email announcements or internships posted to HandshakeMeet with an advisor at the CCPA to develop the most effective plan for you.
  • Look for opportunities in a variety of places. Research internships and grants sponsored by Haverford, and use our Resources by Interests and  Online Subscription Sites as a starting point; we subscribe to numerous intern/job listings. Establish networking contacts, conduct informational interviews, and use a variety websites (i.e.,
  • Organize your time and materials. Using a Google spreadsheet, keep track of applications, deadlines, materials, and next steps.

Application Process

  • Prepare a resume and cover letter.
  • Be clear, concise and grammatically correct in all your writing, including your resume, cover letter, and if needed, essay or short answer.
  • Be clear, concise and grammatically correct in all your writing, including your resume, essay or short answer. To allow for careful editing, write your essays on the computer and then attach to the application.
  • Review every detail of the application. Remember that all of your correspondence will reflect on you as a candidate.
  • Submit all materials by deadline date.
  • Organize your time and materials. Keep track of applications, dates, materials, and deadlines.


  • Prepare for the interview. Review all internship/program/grant information and application materials (including resume, essays and any other supporting materials) shortly before the interview to have these details fresh in your mind.
  • Be specific about your interests during the interview. Prepare with examples to demonstrate your interest.
  • Practice interview when possible. Mock interviews are available in the Center for Career and Professional Advising.
  • Prepare for interviews with HC and BMC programs just as you would for an interview off campus.
  • Demonstrate seriousness of purpose through appropriate dress, punctuality and attention to detail in every step of the process.
  • Conduct additional research, when applicable, to show continued interest from when you submitted your application.
  • Use the interview as an opportunity to learn more about the internship/program. Ask questions to show that you have given careful thought to the goals of the program.

Advice for Applying to Internship Grant Funding through the College or Other Sources

  • Review the grant application process and determine whether this is a self-designed or partner sponsored internship (does the grant provide funding only or is an internship part of the program/grant). This will help you figure out the type of research and preparation you need to do.
  • Talk to appropriate people about the internship grant in order to help you to prepare a stronger grant application (faculty, staff, sponsors, contacts, etc.).
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the grant program and areas of interest clearly in your essays. Show that you’ve done your research.
  • Use essays as a way to connect your relevant experiences to the goals of the program. Consider including work related, academic or personal experiences that have provided skills that can be transferred to your proposed project/grant request. Experiences need not be in the same field to be relevant. Be creative.
  • To allow for careful editing, write your essays on the computer and then attach to the application.
  • Ask a faculty member, dean, Writing Center, or other appropriate college personnel to read your essay. Use the resources available to you on campus.
  • Demonstrate a clear connection between your proposed grant and what this program will enable you to do in the future.
  • Make sure you include all the required pieces of the grant application before the deadline (i.e. resume, essay, references, writing samples, application form, transcript). These will vary for different grants; pay attention to details.