5 Things to Do If You Don’t Have an Internship This Semester

It’s time for a new semester and everyone is starting a new internship…except you. Take a breath and don’t panic. You have options!

FindSpark Dont Panic

Photo courtesy of Tim Linwood

1. Get an Internship

There’s no reason for you to think it’s too late. I promise you there are still internships out there.

Maybe everyone applied for the same internship at big companies, and the rest of the internships are open, still waiting for applications. Maybe some employers only recently realized they needed to hire an intern. Or maybe some incredible company turned down 40 applicants because they were waiting for the perfect intern: you.

You don’t have to give up now. Keep searching and applying. Speak with professors or mentors who might be able to work with you to create a personalized internship. If you really want an internship this semester, you can get one.

2. Volunteer

FindSpark Humane Society

Photo courtesy of Alan C.

Not all volunteering is shelving cans at a food pantry or cleaning cages at an animal shelter. While those are great ways to contribute your time, there are other ways to volunteer and help people while also preparing for your career.

Plenty of volunteer positions will give you a proper title and will look just as good on your resume as an internship.

Just because you’re a volunteer doesn’t mean you have to put the work in a separate section of your resume, or use the word “volunteer” in your title. It’s work experience. Put it there, and list your job duties just like you would an internship.

Deserving nonprofits need consistent part-time help but can’t afford to hire people to fill the roles they desperately need filled. Many places like museums, libraries, and the Humane Society use volunteers to do their admin and clerical work.

VolunteerMatch.org is a great place to look for volunteer positions that will give you transferable skills. You may be surprised at the variety of administrative and creative long-term positions that are available to you. The only difference between those and regular jobs is the number of hours required per week (fewer) and that they’re unpaid (but it’s for a good cause!).

3. Focus on School

You don’t have to do something extra every semester of every year. Consider making this semester the one you get a 4.0, or a 3.5, or perfect attendance in your classes, or whatever goal it is you want to set.

Plenty of people only did one or even zero internships in college, lived to tell about it, and even got jobs.

4. Beat the Masses to the Next Semester’s Internships

While everyone else is in a whirlwind of school, jobs, and interning, you have some extra time on your hands. Use it to find the perfect internship for next semester, and get yourself hired before anyone else even begins working on their resumes.

Start watching our job board now, but don’t just sit and wait for internship openings to come to you. Try to find contacts at dream companies and reach out to them about their needs next semester.

Perfect your resume. Do mock interviews. Be ready for next semester before anyone else has even started to think about it.

5. Do Something for Yourself

FindSpark race

Photo courtesy of Adam KR

With always-increasing student loans and competition in the job search, on top of it being hard to get a job in general, us millennials often get caught up in the race against our peers to become employed and independent after graduation.

It may seem like everyone around you has an internship and is therefore an infinite number of steps ahead of you.

That isn’t necessarily true and does not make you a failure. Don’t let yourself stress about it all semester or worry that you’re falling behind. Instead of focusing on what everyone else is doing, take this semester as an opportunity to pay more attention to yourself.

Read that series of books you’ve been meaning to read, start going to the gym at your school, break up with your stupid boyfriend and fully recover – whatever it is you need to do.

Take care of yourself this semester and you’ll be feeling a whole lot better about not having that internship. Maybe you’ll even be thankful for the opportunity to step back from the race for a brief moment in time.

How are you spending the semester? Let us know in the comments below.


No internship? No problem. Get the training you need to make sure you land that internship next semester as a FindSpark Campus Ambassador! Ambassadors join our powerful network and represent the most ambitious community on the planet, while learning skills that they’ll use for the rest of their careers. Learn more and apply here.

About the Author

Danielle is currently conquering entry-level life in NYC and has yet to repeat a work outfit. Follow her on Twitter @DanielleEyeRoll.

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