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Summer Plans & Finding Internships

Kai talks about his summer plans and highlights some useful Carleton resources for the internship search.

Kai talks about his summer plans and highlights some useful Carleton resources for the internship search.

The weather is perfect, the campus is lively, and it’s Week 8 of 10 at Carleton. Beloved Carleton traditions like Sproncert and Rotblatt are right around the corner, and so is summer. That being said, it seems like a perfect time to talk about my summer plans! Not only will I get a small brag in about what I am doing this summer, but I’ll also run you through some tips on finding a summer internship with all of the resources that Carleton has for its students.

The Career Center

Whether it is helping you find a winter break “externship,” looking for a summer internship, or landing a job after Carleton, the Career Center is there for Carls every step of the way. The one-on-one advising services that the Career Center provides have been especially helpful to me. Advising ranges from editing cover letters and resumes to career coaching to mock interviews. 

Front door of a building with sign reads "Johnson House"
Johnson House: Home to the Career Center!

Beyond the one-on-one advising services, the Career Center also provides several other resources for Carleton students. It provides funding for low/unpaid internships and organizes a number of events per term (often with free food!). It also has rooms you can book for interviews along with spiffy clothes to borrow. 

One of the Career Center’s most useful programs? The externship program. My winter break externship was super fun (as I discussed in a previous post). Notably, it was a critical resume-building experience that helped me land my summer internship!


I just talked about how fantastic alumni are in a recent post, but the tl;dr? Alumni are a great resource. My externship was under a Carleton alum. I’ve also had numerous informational interviews with alumni (one turned into an internship interview and eventually an offer for the summer). I cannot emphasize enough how helpful the alumni were and how grateful I am for them.

Using Handshake and LinkedIn

Handshake is the website the Career Center uses for scheduling appointments. It is also where you can create a profile and find jobs/internships/externships. One of the best features of Handshake is that you can filter jobs/internships by those with a “Carl Connection.” This indicates job openings that a Carleton alum is connected to. It also gives you the name and contact information of those Carleton alums. This allows you to reach out and speak to them. Better yet, it gives you a better shot at landing these jobs and opportunities.

Carleton Handshake
The Handshake website

Since over 70% of employers use LinkedIn to research a potential candidate, it was very helpful to have a LinkedIn. The Career Center’s page on how to create and utilize a LinkedIn profile was very helpful for me. I ended up spending a lot of time on LinkedIn in my internship search. LinkedIn allowed me to scout out the profiles of people who were going to interview me. I also sought out individuals in the company/field I was interested in to see what type of experiences they had. It was also the place to find many job opportunities (and see how many applicants there were!).

My summer plans

So enough about all the resources at Carleton and tips that I have for getting a summer internship. What am I doing this summer? It seems I was able to impress interviewers, thanks to these resources and the skills I’ve developed from Carleton’s liberal arts education.

I ended up getting several internship offers, so it was a tough decision. Ultimately, I accepted a position as a transportation planning intern at the Metropolitan Council, the regional governing body for the Twin Cities. I am the first undergraduate intern that they have hired (they have only hired graduate students in the past). Needless to say, I am super excited to join them and work on some of the most important infrastructure projects shaping the future of the Twin Cities region.

Overview of Lyman Lakes and Campus
Summer is a fun time of year to spend in Northfield!

Since it will be a hybrid role (once or twice a week in their Downtown St. Paul office), I am spending the summer renting an off-campus house in Northfield with some of my good friends. My friends have internships in the Twin Cities too, or are working with Carleton Profs, so it is a great setup. I plan on coordinating which days I am in the office with my friend so we can carpool up to the Cities for the commute. I also am working out a deal to continue working a couple of hours with my favorite Professor, Neil Lutsky, in his Social and Personality Lab (as I have been doing this term).

Last but not least, baseball will be a major part of my summer, as I signed with the Dundas Dukes, a local town ball team. I’ve already played a couple of games with them (and signed my first autograph for a kid!). It has been very fun, especially when ~500 people come to watch their games.


Finding a summer internship is a key part of the college experience and preparation for a career after college. It can also be an intimidating and unfamiliar process. I hope this post gives some insight into navigating this process. I’m so appreciative for how Carleton supports its students because it really is shaping up to be an awesome summer for me in Northfield!

Kai is a sophomore from Charlottesville, VA, who probably spends too much time enjoying meals (and desserts) with friends in the dining halls. He is a prospective double major in Political Science and Psychology, potential Public Policy Minor as well. He loves working in the Lutsky Social and Personality Research Lab, volunteering for Project Friendship, playing piano at the Weitz, hanging out at Sayles, taking walks around the Lakes or in the Arb, and pitching/playing infield for the baseball team. Meet the other bloggers!