Questions to Ask Yourself About Internships

How Do I Find An Internship?

No matter where you are in the process of searching for an internship, the Piper Center can provide resources and guidance to help you. Use the statements below to find out where to start your search.

My goals for completing an internship are…

Think about your answers to the questions below. Your goals for completing an internship will help guide your search process. You don’t have to have answers to every question right away!

  • What do I hope to accomplish with an internship?
  • What academic goals and which career objectives do I want to work towards?
  • What interests do I want to explore?
  • What skills do I want to use and improve?
  • How do I want to apply my academic coursework?
  • When do I want to conduct an internship?
  • Where do I want to conduct an internship (consider both geographic location AND type of organization)?
  • Do I want/need to receive academic credit?

I don’t know what I am interested in…

  • Note themes in your answers to these questions: What do you enjoy doing? How do you spend your free time? What do you most enjoy thinking about? Where do your thoughts seem to wander? How do opinions or outside influences (family, friends, professors, etc.) impact your academic/experiential/career choices? Where do you see yourself 5 years from now – how about 10?

I don’t know what types of careers there are for people in my major…

The idea that there are majors that don’t lead to jobs is a myth, especially at a liberal arts college where students are well-educated in a breadth of subjects beyond their major. Any major can prepare you for a number of different careers – start looking at occupations in very broad terms and then narrow in on something more specific. Try this:

  • Link to St. Olaf’s Online Alumni Directory and do a simple search by major. In the search results, click on alums one at a time to see what they’re doing now. You will be surprised at the variety!
  • Contact alums who are doing something of interest and request an informational interview.
  • Similarly, you may contact representatives of local community and government organizations to learn more about these work environments and potential future career paths.
  • Visit the Piper Center’s websites on Exploring Careers and Majors, and come in to the Piper Center to browse the career library.
  • Search the Internet for websites of professional associations in your areas of interest. You’ll find career exploration resources with up-to-date internship and job listings and descriptions of lesser known careers in the field.
  • Talk to your professors about career options in your areas of interest.

I want to get field-specific experience that will put my major to use…

  • Identify local internship opportunities around Northfield – lists community organizations seeking interns.
  • Search site directories by major – lists organizations Oles have interned with in the past.
  • Visit the Piper Center’s Job & Internship Search page for a comprehensive list of job and internship databases online, as well as our library of hardcopy internship resources.
  • Create a resume and come to the Piper Center to have it reviewed by a peer advisor or staff member.
  • Think about family, friends, and campus resources including faculty, peers, and acquaintances when considering an internship site. Sage advice, information, and contacts often come from people you already know!