How to Navigate the Internship Search Process

For many, the Fall semester internship search is one of the most stressful times of the school year. But fear not, it’s not as hard as you’d think it is. Below are a few tips to get get the search going and to help you jumpstart your future career:

  1. The first place many underclassmen and even Juniors start at is online. Websites such as,, and are job posting sites where many major companies first post their internship spots. A noteworthy website is, a job hosting site where you can get jobs customized for your major and your qualifications. They even have a “career specialist” that emails you openings that fit your criteria.
  2. The second  and most common spot students go for internships is the Career Fair. Smeal offers a wide range of career fairs; many majors such as Finance, Accounting, Supply Chain and Marketing each get their own career fairs. It is really helpful to go to the specialized ones since it gives you the best chance possible to talk to professionals in your major. Additionally, Penn State organizes a large Spring and Fall Career Fair for all majors to attend. While that one is a little more stressful and hard to navigate, it offers a wider range of companies. Best practice is to put all the dates of the career fairs you’d like to attend at the beginning of the semester so you can start planning!
  3. Case Competitions are another great way to bring attention to your resume. Many organizations such as the Marketing Association and Women in Business sponsor and support case competitions where companies such as Johnson and Johnson come to Smeal students with real problems their company is facing and ask them to solve it. Winners of case competitions often not only receive a prize, but some also get offered a chance to interview with the company for a position.
  4. The last place students search for opportunities are networking events.  Throughout the semester many companies such as Boeing, Exxon Mobile, and Dowell Chemicals hold events where students can chat with recruiters in a casual manners, sometimes playing ice breaker games, while getting to know the company. For example this semester Boeing has hosted coffee chats and Macy’s has hosted resume reviews. These events can all be found on the Smeal calendar online and all Smeal students are invited.
By Amitty Tam
Amitty Tam Career Guide