Internships: How To Get ‘Em

By Nine Ways of Knowing Staff

It’s that time of year! If you’re looking for an summer internship or a full-time position this semester, January’s the time to do it. Whether you’re into lobbying in the White House, neurosurgery, performing arts or just looking to make bank, here are some websites to get you started.


Don’t they look happy? Ambitious,
a little socially awkward, but happy.

This should be your first stop. NACElink is Barnard’s listing for internships and full-time opportunities, as well as Office of Career Development events. On-campus jobs will also (most of the time) be posted on here. Also be sure to read all those e-mails from OCD to know about upcoming events, and new postings.
Position Found? Paid Student Assistant job at Columbia-Barnard Hillel
This site has volunteer opportunities, internships and full time jobs at non-for-profits across the country. It’s a no brainer for people looking for internships in advocacy or things related to politics. However, it can also be a good resource for people looking for positions not necessarily in the Not-for-Profit world. Communications folks can work in a Public Relations department or Finance people could work in fundraising. Make sure to limit your search to the cities you want and limiting by interest (say politics or women’s rights) can also help limit hits so that you don’t get overwhelmed.
Position Found? Unpaid Internship at the New York City Chapter of the National Organization for Women.
For those of you interested in theatre and other performing arts, the Jobs section of this popular theatre website has a regularly updated database of internships and different kinds of paid positions. You can search for jobs by keyword, type of positions, or state. Who knows? You could end up working with an Off-Broadway actress, an up-and-coming playwright, or kids who are dreaming of Hollywood and learning how to sing and act.
Position Found? Unpaid internship at Samuel French, Inc.

Institution websites
Almost every research institution, university and medical school has their own undergraduate research experience program (REUs), that you can find more details about on each respective website, sometimes even within specific departments. REUs are a sweet deal, and with a stipend and free housing with most programs, you can go practically anywhere with an REU—from Pomona to Paris. The choices can be a little overwhelming, but Columbia and the National Science Foundation have good websites to help you narrow things down, although there are plenty of others out there, too.
Position Found? Research Experience for Undergraduates programs

Unpaid internships, a.k.a. 
lines of resume away from slavery.

Have an idea of where you want to intern or work? Google the name plus intern or job. This can be a great way to find listings that aren’t put on places like Idealist or NACElink as well as if you have a specific organization in mind.
Position Found? Unpaid internship at Goodspeed Musicals

Put yourself out there
If there is a particular lab or company you want to work for that isn’t part of a prescribed fellowship program, it can’t hurt to make a few cold calls (sorry, emails) to a private investigator or employer. It’s a little awkward, but you have a lot to gain and very little to lose. If they like you enough, you could even hit the jackpot and get a paid position.
Position Found? Assistant Volunteer Program Coordinator at St. Luke’s Hospital

Personal Connections
It’s the dirty truth of internships and jobs that knowing people helps, sometimes a lot. If you’re comfortable with any professors at Barnard or Columbia, consider asking them if they can point you in the right direction for any programs or academic positions, or if they’ve heard of anything through their colleagues. Your parents are your next stop; their circle of friends may be more connected than you think. Also, find out what internships your friends have to find out about opportunities you never would have known about.
Position Found? Research position at a hometown university.

Images courtesy of ChumBonus and Steve Lafleur.


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