Updated: May 2021
If you’re reading this, chances are you have already tried your best searching for an internship but have realised that it’s too difficult finding one.
Applying to internships on LinkedIn doesn’t work, companies hardly reply. Applying on the website never gets you response. So what can be done to actually find someone who is looking for interns?
Below I’ve listed some proven methods which actually help.
Get your expectations realistic. If you keep trying for internships at companies like Google/Apple/McKinsey after you’ve failed once, you shouldn’t be fixated on the brand name companies. Smaller companies are just as good as the Fortune 500 companies. Even startups are great.
College students think that a brand name will look good on their resume, but in reality, it’s ALWAYS the work which matters. If you get a startup internship, but you got to learn a lot, it’s just as good as the big brand internship.
Specify the area in which you are looking for an internship. “Those who chase two rabbits catch none.” It’s very important to be clear which domain you want to work in. Software development/digital marketing/consulting/finance are usually the favourites of students. If you aren’t clear of which domain, go for anyone which interests you right now, after all the purpose of an internship is to get an idea of what an actual job feels like. If dissatisfied, you can choose a different domain later.
Target the recently funded startups. They are always hungry for good employees. Find the startups from websites like Techcrunch (here), Angel.co (it also has a jobs section which lists startup internships), or look for any news provider which provides recent startup funding news. After you find a company you like, search for its founder on Linkedin (simply google <company name> founder and you should get their Linkedin profile. Or you could go to their website and see the contact details.
Write a mail to the founder(s) that you are interested in internship with them and send them your resume. You will almost always get a reply and if you show interest, the founder will most likely agree. If you subtly express that you are interested in joining as full time employee after the internship, it’ll work in your favour.
If nothing works, do a startup. It doesn’t cost much (few dollars for a domain name and hosting) and teaches you all aspects of a business. Think of an idea and start by making a website. If you don’t know how to do a specific thing, google it or watch a tutorial on youtube. That’s how you will keep learning.