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The internship series

5 ways college students are landing internships right now

A guide to help you find and land your next internship.

Grades alone aren’t enough to find the perfect career. When was the last time you saw a job post asking for a 3.0 or higher GPA?

A great GPA can make a small difference if you need that extra leverage, but a student’s resume truly shines when it contains actual, relatable, transferable skills and experiences. If you want in on the best career for you, it’s never too early to start your internship search.

But before we discuss how to go about finding internships, let’s see what research has to say about it. In a survey, nearly 1,500 college students revealed that familial connections — followed by online searching, college career centers, and extracurricular involvement, in that order — were the springboard into their internships. 91% of students also indicated that connections were fundamentally more important than grades when finding their opportunity. The good news is that Handshake breaks down these barriers, providing opportunities to hardworking students like yourself regardless of who they know or how well-connected their families are.

1. Network

This is a great first step, and you’ve probably heard it almost systematically since your first day on campus. What no one tells you, though, is how to succeed at it. Before you start networking, have your 30-second elevator pitch ready. A first impression goes a long way when a potential employer now has your phone number or email.

2. Browse Handshake

Handshake makes it easy to discover all kinds of employment opportunities, including paid internships. Found the perfect opportunity? In most cases, the platform even works in conjunction with your college or university’s career services center to ensure your application is top notch. Sending in your resume and cover letter for review prior to applying is just one of the many benefits you can enjoy on Handshake.

3. Attend Career Fairs

Pick out your best “business formal” wear, print several resumes, and attend an on-campus career fair. Employers like to visit campuses to find talented students. Some even offer interviews on the spot!

Discover career events on your campus

4. Freelance

Do you have a skill you enjoy that you think you could get paid for? Is it a talent that’s transferable to your anticipated career path? Try freelancing! There are several sites you can choose from including UpWork, Fiverr, and for remote work. It’s not for everyone, but can you imagine how successfully starting a freelancing business during college could impact your professional career and exposure? Diversifying how and where you work can also be crucial to prepare for the future of work, especially when you consider that experts estimate that 50% of all employees will begin working remotely within the next few years.

5. Be Confident

At the risk of ending on a clichéd note, it’s important to exude confidence. A behavior often synonymous with decision-making, assertion, and maturity, confidence is coveted and highly valuable to employers everywhere.


Find the right jobs for you. Get hired.