international student life

international student

How to find a summer job or internship as a college student.

Here are some tips for finding summer work and as a college student that can lead to future great career opportunities.

Finding a summer job should not be so difficult, but for many college freshmen, they have no idea where to look and this can be a challenge. Here are some of the places you can find employment during summer as a college student.

Even as a freshman, it's good to look for internships in your field as soon as you can. You can start looking for internships in career fairs and can also contact your professors or staff who may give you information where to get the internships from. They usually have some connections and will help you. The most important thing is to be very proactive in regards to searching and making connections. You may get turned down to a lot of them for being a freshman but it never hurts to try.

Another place to start looking is your college career center. They usually have a website listing all the jobs and internships available to college students and they will give you access to it to search. Career centers can also help you write your resume and this will help you land your first job too.

You can also ask around. Ask your parents, fellow students and even people working in the places you intend to work and ask them how they got that job.

Ask any graduate students, PHD students and Teaching Assistants if they're looking for students in their lab, they are always looking for cheap labor in their labs and this can be an opportunity for you. Universities usually have funding opportunities for these kinds of arrangements also and you can find a job there.

Go to the National Science Foundation (NSF) website where you will find a large number of research opportunities for undergraduate students. You can do a search there and apply to any one that interests you. Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) programs are funded by NSF. REUs are fairly competitive--generally with acceptance rates between 10 and 20%--though women and minorities are favored. They are primarily intended for people majoring in science or engineering. REU programs are an amazing opportunity for freshman.

You can also find professor in your college doing research you may be interested in, read up on their research and email them saying you are interested in their research and if there are any spots for an undergraduate in their lab to help out. You can offer to do it for no pay but you will still get some experience and some connections. You can try to contact these professors during their office hours and just talk to them.

Look for research groups/departments within your university. Some universities have a small website where professors can list their research studies that need a student's help/work. You can apply for these opportunities online or contact the professor who posted them.

Start working at a summer camp. There are many opportunities at those places. You get to learn new things, work with kids, you get paid money, you meet new people. It's not a bad gig and there are always positions open.

With tutoring experience- you could be a summer nanny. Both male and female nannies are pretty highly sought after for families with girls and boys and you can easily make $15/hr depending on where you live. This will probably not help with securing future internships, but it's a great job. You can use sites like and to find Nanny jobs.

You can also find tutoring jobs on websites like There are great opportunities for tutoring kids of all ages and in any subjects. So if you are good at math, I'm sure it wouldn't be too hard to find a tutoring job.

If you're looking at academics, go to your local school board office and see if they have summer school slots for Teacher's Assistants or one-on-one teaching. It isn't the most glamorous educational work but you learn a lot about the educational field and how to handle a variety of complex situations with students of all ages. It takes no degree to get in (though an Associate's degree or higher helps you get better pay) and you meet a lot of great people for future networking purposes.

Consider being a summer orientation leader. Most campuses have some sort of freshman orientation during the summer. Check out your school website to see if they have any paid opportunities to be an orientation leader.

You can also look for opportunities to be a campus ambassador or tour guide. In addition to orientation sessions, many college campuses offer tours during the summer. Again, look on your school website to see if any opportunities are available.

Attend industry receptions or information sessions. There are many opportunities to attend numerous information sessions for companies that come to colleges for the purposes of showcasing their company to future potential employees. These sessions are a great place to network and ask about internship opportunities.

Don't be afraid to volunteer. Even if you can't get a paid internship immediately, it is important to begin gaining work experience. Consider volunteering, say with the Red Cross or shadowing a professional in industry. Who knows, they might offer you a paid internship later down the road.

Check with your local parks and recreation department if you have an interest in working with kids as a summer camp counselor. They have some summer opportunities which are paid gigs and you also get free food and housing.

Make a professional portfolio and apply to many places. Look on websites like and for any opportunities that you may find. . Make it your job to find a job.