Career Center

Career Center
315-859-4332 (fax)

Career Center Guides

Career-Related Experience Guide

Obtaining an Internship

Obtaining an internship can require a significant amount of your time. But, given how important an internship experience is, consider it an investment in your future! To help you with this process, we have outlined below some next steps. Where applicable, we have identified resources underneath each task to assist you.

In addition, Career Center counselors are able to help you with this process.

Initial Steps

To help you get the most out of your internship search, we encourage you to consider the following issues and write down your responses.

Some preliminary questions…

1. What career field(s) would you like to explore through a summer internship?

The following can help you answer this question:

  • Explore career options resources.
  • Self assessments can develop a profile of your interests, skills, values, personality, and educational preferences. It then enables you to explore careers that match your profile
  • Use Internship.com’s Internship Predictor to generate options that may be of interest to you
  • Review internship listings on HamNET and internships.com to determine what options appeal to you
  • Meet with a Career Counselor

2. Are there specific skills or abilities you would like to develop?

3. Consider geographic and transportation issues.
  • Where will you most likely live this summer?
  • What is the largest city/town to which you could commute?
  • What type(s) of transportation is/are available to you?

4. Given your financial situation, what options are you able to consider?
  • paid internship
  • volunteer internship
  • combination of a paid job & volunteer internship
    Keep in mind that the majority of internships are non-paid, especially likely for your first internship
    Have you considered alternative funding? (i.e., taking a part-time paid job or applying for Summer Internship Funding)

5. Most internships are competitive! How competitive a candidate are you. 
The more factors you are able to check off below, the more competitive you are.
  •  I have a good understanding of my career field of interest
  • I have taken academic courses specifically related to my career interests
  • I will be a junior at the time I apply for an internship
  • I have a cumulative GPA of 3.3 or higher
  • I have been involved in co-curricular activities related to my career interests
  • I have previous work experience in my field of interest
  • I have family or personal contacts at internship sites of interest to me



Next Steps

6. Write a draft of your resume.
  • Our Resume Guide is intended to help you construct the first draft of your resume.
  • Meet with a Peer Advisor for one-on-one assistance.
7. Depending on your level of experience, your field of interest and your geographic location, we recommend that you develop a prospect list of 15-30 organizations and/or opportunities.The following strategies and resources will be helpful to you in this process.
  • Start by asking family, friends of family, acquaintances, Hamilton faculty and/or alumni if they know of organizations and/or opportunities that meet your criteria. Approximately 60% of Hamilton students find their initial Career-Related Experience through personal contacts.
  • Determine whether there are online internship listings that will be of help to you. Check listings in HamNET and the internship listing on the Career Center site.
  • Consider sites where Hamilton students have interned in the past
  • Use online resources (i.e., CareerSearch, Google, Chamber of Commerce) to identify organizations in your field and geographic area of interest.
  • Visit the websites of those organizations and/or contact them (call or email) to inquire about Career-Related Experience/internships.





8. Research each organization on your list; visit organization’s website, talk and/or meet with staff working at the organization.

9. Based on your research, write a cover letter that is tailored to each specific internship employer/opportunity. 
10. Make an appointment to have a Peer Advisor review your application materials.

11. Send required application materials well in advance of deadlines.




12. If you have not heard back from the organization within 7-10 days after the application deadline, we suggest contacting them by phone or email to make sure your materials have been received and to request an in-person or phone interview. However, you should not follow up if the organization has specifically stated that they do not wish phone calls.

13. Prepare for your internship interview by reviewing the interviewing page on the Career Center