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Learn and Work in the Field You're Most Passionate For

Engaging in internships is essential in gaining practical skills and work experience to give you an edge in a competitive job market. Over the course of a summer internship, you will apply your classroom knowledge in a practical setting while developing key skills and experience that employers seek when recruiting for full-time hires.

Below are a few tips on how to apply to summer internships and get the most out of them.

Steps to Finding an Internship

  • What skills do you want to learn?
  • What fields are of interest to you?
  • Where do you want to be over the summer months?
  • What type of company are you interested in? Is it a start-up or a large, established firm?

Once you have answered these questions, it's time to research your chosen fields.

Next, it is time to find your internship.

  • Use the on-line recruiting platform provided by Career Services (and other resources/websites) to not only research postings, but to see recent postings for summer internships.
  • Resume: Your resume is a document that describes your educational and work experience, as well as skills (including technical and language) and activities. Need to create your first resume or have a career counselor critique your existing one? Make an appointment with our office!
  • Cover Letter: This is typically a one-page introduction to who you are as an applicant and why you want to work for a specific company. Employers will gain insight to your communication skills as well as your enthusiasm for their specific job openings. Let our career counselors help you create a great cover letter. Schedule an appointment!
  • References: When you are preparing to apply for a position, you need to have at least 3-5 potential references in mind. Employers often ask for this information after the initial interview and it is great to be prepared! Be sure to ask permission from your references and give them information regarding the position(s) for which you are applying.
  • Attend Career Services sponsored workshops that will help you get started on your search, required documents, interviewing, networking, and Career Fair tips.
  • Attend networking events where you can meet professionals.
  • Alumni events: Meet alumni to learn about different industries, fields, and opportunities where other Techers have explored.
  • Connect with contacts you know – family, friends, past supervisors, etc. Contact them and set up a time to talk on the phone or meet in-person. They may be able to provide an internship opportunity or know someone that can help.
  • Submit your Applications: Make sure to read the job descriptions thoroughly so that you do not forget to submit a required document. The earlier you are able to apply to a position, the better. Many employers begin looking at applications as they come in, so it is great to be first!
  • Schedule a Mock Interview: Once you have started to apply to available positions in your chosen field, the next step is to begin preparing for the interviews. Meet with one of our career counselors who will create a real interview setting so that you can learn the best way to answer some of the most common questions. Make an appointment here.

Talk to a counselor: Set an appointment with a career counselor to ask questions or get feedback. Scheudle one here.

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Internship Checklist

The internship search can feel overwhelming, so it's helpful to break it into manageable steps. The good news is you don't have to do every step in order. For example, you can start working on your resume before you identify what you want to do. Please click here to download the internship checklist.

Internship FAQs

Since requirements and deadlines vary a great deal, you are responsible for identifying and applying for internships yourself. However, we offer assistance in the form of individual advising, internship listings via career fairs, information sessions, and workshops. You can find all of that in our Next Steps platform here.

Application deadlines are set by individual organizations and vary widely. Well-established annual programs have early deadlines (e.g. October), whereas small companies may not know if they will require summer interns until March or April, and sometimes later.

It is in your best interest to begin your summer internship search during the fall term so that you do not miss out on early deadlines.

Although you may be most competitive for internships that will be completed the summer before your senior year, companies do accept applications from and hire underclassmen for summer internships. You are encouraged to begin interning as early as you can in order to maximize the amount of career-related experience you obtain before graduation.

The Career Development Center can assist with your initial exploration, application procedures and final decision-making. Schedule an appointment or stop by our office during walk-in hours for general information and assistance with developing an action plan for your internship search.

Applying to advertised openings is one way to search for internships. The Career Development Center will assist you in developing networking skills and utilizing proactive internship search strategies to identify opportunities of interest.

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Schedule an Appointment with a Counselor with Next Steps

Sign In to schedule an appointment with one of our career counselors to get started on your pre-professional path today!

The materials on this website are for informational purposes only. The information is provided for the convenience of our students and alumni who visit this site and does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation by Caltech or the Career Development Center (collectively "Caltech") of any of the job hunting sites, or companies that offer internships. Visitors to this site agree they are independently responsible for making personal decisions based upon their needs with regard to any of the Resources they choose to use and they acknowledge that Caltech is not responsible for ensuring the quality of any services provided by any of the Resources.

If you are a non-Caltech student seeking a summer internship, please feel free to use any of the resources that we have provided online, but note that we cannot answer your questions or be of direct assistance to you. You should direct your inquiries to your own school's career development center.

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