Internships can be paid or unpaid, for academic credit or no credit and can take place during the semester or summer. Summer internships are most commonly pursued by students with the ability to intern full-time in between semesters, or part-time in combination with summer classes or part-time employment.  While internships can be secured during your first or second year, many industries trend toward hiring third year students due more depth of coursework in a major and experience. 

A great first step toward an internship is to gain experience on Grounds.  Consider student organizations, class projects, and other experiential learning opportunities to build transferable skills that employers will find beneficial to their organizations and provide direction for your search.  Externships, job shadowing, and volunteer service learning are additional ways to increase your industry exposure and career focus giving you an edge as an intern candidate.

Internships help you assess what you like as much as what you do not, so be comfortable exploring.  You may be surprised to find your initial career interests to be less of a fit than you thought.  Or, you may discover a new career path that is more exciting than you imagined. Both experiences are invaluable to finding your future career direction.  Learning about functional roles, organizational cultures, and industries will benefit you in developing transferable skills, direction, and a professional network to help you reach your future goals.

Starting Your Search

Know Yourself

Making choices about your major, career, or graduate or professional school plan is challenging. The UVA Career Center is here to help guide you through the process and provide you resources to help make you more successful. 

Career Assessments

Career assessments can be incredibly helpful because they confirm and affirm the things you instinctively know to be true. Align your personality, strengths, and interests with potential careers through career assessments provided by the UVA Career Center. 

Create Your Professional Documents

Well-developed professional materials will open the door for you to meet and interview with employers.

Explore Opportunities

Understanding yourself and your options is the next step in your journey. Self-knowledge includes a clear understanding of your values, interests, and skills. The options below can help guide you towards potential opportunities.

Occupational Themes

Discover careers that may fit with your interests and talents. As you explore various careers, you may learn about careers you didn't know existed.

Career Communities

Career Communities are a great way to learn more about opportunities in the fields of your choice!


You will find that networking is one of the most important parts of the internship search. Even if you have the perfect resume and lots of experience, it is often difficult to land an internship without having been active in networking beforehand. Connecting with professionals who can offer inside perspective about trends, perspectives, and opportunities in your desired career field will give you an edge in your internship search and interviewing process.

Informational Interviews

Informational interviewing is the process of gathering career information from people who are already working in target occupations, organizations, or geographic locations. 

Consider Additional Ways to Gain Experience

Consider all your options

Start Your Search