for an internship or co-op is very similar to searching for
a scholarship, it can be a tedious process. However, an internship
or co-op program can be exciting and invaluable when you are
applying for jobs. The earlier you begin your internship search,
the better your chances of securing one of the better or more
coveted internships. You need to create a clear plan, an outline,
of the resources that are available to you. Knowing what and
who your resources are is key to a successful internship search.
Family and Friends
Tell your family members, friends (at school and at home), and
your family’s friends that you are seeking an internship
or co-op program in your career field. Your family and friends
are excellent resources, especially if they are employed in
the industry you are pursuing as a career. They may also know
of people working in your career field who may be able to help
you. This is your opportunity to start networking.
Many students do not use all the available resources at
their school. Ask any and everyone about possible internships
and co-op opportunities. Being persistent will pay-off.
Provided below is a list of resources you should consider:
Center / Placement Office
Most colleges have a career center/placement office for
their students. The career center provides students with
information about internships, cooperative education programs,
and entry-level job opportunities. Some career centers
have internship coordinators to help match students to
internships/co-ops according to their career interests.
Inside the career center, there may be several binders
with a listing of internships/co-ops, a computerized database,
and/or a bulletin board with posted information for the
dates of any job fairs or internship presentations that
may be scheduled. Visit your school’s career center/placement
office and ask the staff about various internships and
co-op programs in your career field.
Most colleges offer at least one on-campus career fair
during the academic year. Some on-campus career fairs
focuses specifically on internships and others focuses
on college seniors entering the workforce upon graduation.
Many organizations and companies participate in these
on-campus career fairs to recruit students for internships
and entry-level job positions. It is an ideal opportunity
to attend at least one on-campus career fair to network
with the recruiters. Information about on-campus career
fairs are typically announced in your school’s newspaper,
posters, flyers, and/or bulletin boards on-campus.
Advisor and Faculty Members
Most academic departments have established agreements
with various company or organization to offer internships
and co-op programs to their students. These programs are
typically maintained by your department’s academic
advisor and faculty member(s) assisting with the programs.
Contact your academic advisor, internship coordinator,
or faculty member for more specific information.
Most colleges have cultural centers for students of various
ethnic and religious backgrounds to relax and gather with
their peers. If you fall within any ethnic group, visit
the cultural center on-campus and inquire about any internship
opportunities. Review any materials posted on the bulletin
boards and in newsletters. Ask the director or receptionist,
if they know of any organizations or companies that offer
internships for students of your particular ethnic group
within your career field.
Ask fellow students, if they heard of any internship or
co-op announcements or applied to any in the past years.
Some students may be hesitant to tell you about their
internship opportunities, since you may be in competition
There are a few internship web sites, as well as industry specific
web sites that allow users to register and search their online
directories. Some web sites are free and some charge a fee.
These directories typically work the same and allow users to
search for a company by name, location, industry, or customized
If you would like to find a listing of internship
web sites, type in "internships" or “cooperative
education programs” on search engines or employment
sites, it should yield scores of available internships but
won't separate them by field.
Not all companies and organizations advertise their internship
or co-op opportunities and there is nothing wrong with contacting
a company or organization on your own. You will be surprised
as to what internships or co-ops are available. You can obtain
a listing of companies by browsing industry specific directories
on the internet or industry specific directories. Theses directories
typically provide a profile of the company by listing their
complete contact information, programs, services, and/or products
offered. After browsing the directories, make a list of all
the companies and organizations that you would like to work
for in your industry.
Visit the company’s web site and browse the job/career
section. Most companies will post information about their
vacant internships, co-op, and job positions within this section
on their web site. If you cannot find any information on their
web site, contact the company’s human resource or personnel
department. The staff should be able to inform you of any
internship or co-op opportunities; or they can direct you
to the appropriate person or department.
If there is a particular company you would like to work for
and they don’t offer an internship, ask if they can
create an internship for you. If they create an internship
for you, more than likely it will be for an unpaid position.
However, you will gain invaluable experience and if they like
your work you may be asked to return next year or offered
employment upon graduating from school.
Conventions / Conferences
Each year, there are several aviation/aerospace conventions
and conferences sponsored by professional organizations and
businesses. It would be in your best interest to attend one
or more of these events to start networking and inquiring about
internship opportunities. Visit each booth and attend as many
seminars as possible, if interested. Some events will charge
a fee to gain access to the exhibitor’s booths and seminars.
Always introduce yourself to each company representative for
it is very possible that that person may be one of the people
to review your resume and/or application. If they can put a
face to the name, it can only help you. Ask for a business card
from each representative - they could be important contacts
later on. Be sure to get a copy of the event’s program
guide to contact some of the companies and organizations listed,
at a later date. Trade magazines usually list the names and
dates for various events in their industry.
Internship and Industry Directories
There are several directories and publications about internships
at the bookstores and libraries in your city. These books are
usually located in the reference section. Internship directories
profile various internship and cooperative education programs
offered by various companies and organizations. These directories
contain complete contact information, eligibility requirements,
benefits, and application deadlines. When reviewing the internship
directories, make sure you review the most recent editions since
guidelines, eligibility requirements, benefits, and deadlines
often change, each year.
Each industry has a directory profiling various companies, associations,
clubs/groups, and organizations within its industry. These directories
contain complete contact information about the services, programs,
and/or products offered by each company or organization. Contact
some of the companies and organizations in the industry you
are pursuing as a career and inquire about any internships or
co-op programs offered for students.