Congratulations! By starting the search, you have taken an important step towards finding, funding, and securing an extraordinary internship.


Finding an internship can be fun. The search process itself offers a great opportunity to explore different work settings and begin to build your professional network. You will also develop search skills that you will again use to find a job after you graduate. The Career Center is here to help you every step of the way, so please contact us with any questions.

Here are some strategies to get you started:

  1. Commit to a positive attitude: Be confident that your unique personality, skill set, and liberal arts education are of tremendous interest to potential internship sponsors. 
  2. Focus yourself: To the extent possible, be clear about your needs and priorities for an internship.
  3. Identify sources of information. A lot of formal information about potential internships is available online (as found on websites, databases, etc.). But perhaps even more important is the information available from informal sources – contacts that you make in the networking process and by pursuing informational interviews (see Networking and Informational Interviewing).
  4. Identify organizations for whom you may wish to work. Start a list of places that seem interesting and keep it handy to capture ideas that you come up with throughout your search. 
  5. Utilize your network of Carleton alumni, faculty, friends, relatives and their business associates. Reach out to them for guidance and resources that will lead to the type of internship experience you are hoping to find.
  6. Prepare: Get your application materials ready.

If you’re still not sure of where to begin, that’s okay! Make an appointment with a career counselor who can help.


Internship hiring timelines vary by industry, so get to know the timeline for your target industry. In general, the more structured the internship, the more in advance the organization will hire. See the table below for some examples of recruiting timelines and target industries.

General Recruiting Timelines for Summer Internships for Select Industries

8 - 10 months in Advance (Before and during Fall Term)4 – 6 months in Advance (Winter term)
  • Consulting Firms

  • For-profit Businesses

  • Large Media Companies

  • Financial Services

  • International Organizations

  • Federal Government

  • Non-profit Organizations

  • Research Institutes

  • Educational Institutions

  • Arts Organizations

  • Environmental Organizations

  • State and Local Government


Here are some good resources to get you started. However, this list is by no means exhaustive! Please note that the Career Center does not necessarily endorse any of these resources.

  • Student Internship Experiences Database: A searchable database of where other Carls have interned.
  • Handshake: A career services management platform that provides a number of opportunities for our students, including more affinity-based opportunities from a broader geographic area.
  • Global Edge Internship Program: Global Edge pairs selected students with internships in Shanghai, China and Capetown, South Africa. 
  • Micro-Internships: Short-term, paid, professional assignments that are similar to those given to new hires or interns.
  • Pathways: Explore how certain classes and majors could lead to potential careers, internships, and off-campus study programs.
  • Spotlight on Careers: Another collaborative effort with LACN, Spotlight is designed to give students an overview of 28 different career fields. Each site provides numerous links to related resources, and several sites provide links which list internship opportunities.
  • GoinGlobal: Packed with country-specific career information, this research tool provides expert advice and insider tips for finding employment at home and abroad.
  • International Rescue Committee: Programs that work with international and immigrant populations such as English as a Second Language (ESL) teaching programs and refugee assistance services.
  • GoOverseas
  • Lonely Planet
  • A broad database good for seeing what is out there; particularly strong in service-based organizations and non-governmental organizations. Searching under “organizations” will likely give you more to work with, because many organizations don’t specifically post internship programs but would be happy to accept one.
  • ASPIA International Career Guide: Guides to sectors and subject areas related to careers in international affairs.
  • – Students can find internships and employment opportunities in the world’s largest internship marketplace.
  • Wango: Lists of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) by region. Click on the map on the main page to start your search.
  • Foreign Policy Research Institute: Search for over 1,000 think tanks by country; policy oriented (hence the name).
  • Boren Critical Language Scholarship: Part of the U.S. National Security Education Act of 1991, the Boren Critical Language Scholarships offer students up to $20,000 to study abroad in “critical areas,” including Africa, Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, Eurasia, Latin America, and the Middle East
  • ELIA Abroad: Searches under the internships tab are grouped by work type, so if you have an idea of what type of work you want to do, this would be a good way to start. Also sponsors student-initiated service projects.
  • InternAbroad: Search either by country or type of internship; lists nearly 1,000 organizations.
  • Love Volunteers: A New Zealand-based organization that facilitates international service & volunteering opportunities in 36 countries throughout the America’s, Africa, Asia, Europe and Middle East.
  • TransitionsAbroad: Lists internships and a list of alternative opportunities of summer work, including farm work, au pair jobs, and student work choices while studying abroad.
  • Uniworld: Database for U.S. companies with offices in foreign countries, as well as foreign companies in the U.S.
  • IEE Passport: Strong in academic summer programs abroad.
  • BUNAC: Offers work permits for Canada, Australia, New Zealand, as well as internship opportunities in Britain.
  • Adventure Teaching: ESL teaching positions in China and Korea.