Find a Meaningful Opportunity
An internship is an opportunity to explore career possibilities and gain valuable professional experience while pursuing your degree. Internships can take a variety of forms—from traditional paid or unpaid opportunities at organizations to other opportunities like part-time jobs or project-based work. Your path is unique and the types of experiences you pursue will depend on your goals. The Career Center is here to partner with you and the resources below will help guide your internship search.
Join a Career Cluster
Browse our cluster pages to find resources tailored to your industry of interest and join a cluster to receive customized emails.
Connect with Alumni
Use Eagle Exchange to build your network and connect with alumni to gain insight about a career field of interest.
Use our Summer Experience Dashboard to explore the types of experiences Boston College students completed over the past two years.
Meet with a Career Coach
Schedule an appointment with our industry specialists to discuss your internship search strategy and build a plan of action.
Connect with Students
We have compiled a Summer Experience Database to help connect you with other BC students to learn about internship experiences. Use the database to find students who completed internships that you may be interested in and reach out to them to discuss their summer experience.
To access: Verify that you are logged in with your BC email address.
Find an Internship
As you look for opportunities, start with Handshake, our centralized platform where employers post positions for Boston College students. All of the top employers are hiring on Handshake, including the Fortune 500, nonprofits, startups, and more. You can also find campus recruitment opportunities.
Our guide will help you set up your profile and make the most of your Handshake account.
External Job Boards
While it is highly recommended that you use Handshake as your primary platform to search for an internship, there are a variety of other online job boards that may also serve as helpful resources. Below are a few general job boards to start with. You can find industry-specific resources on our career cluster pages.
|WayUp||wayup.com||A platform for early career professionals to explore opportunities, receive advice, and get discovered by employers|
|linkedin.com||Explore listings on the world's largest professional network|
|Indeed||indeed.com||Job and internship postings from across the U.S.|
|Glassdoor||glassdoor.com||Job and internship postings with company reviews, salary reports, and more|
|Idealist||idealist.org||A job board for a nonprofit/government job search|
|Jop Well||jopwell.com||A career advancement platform for Black, Latinx, and Native American students and professionals|
|LinkUp||linkup.com||An index of global job listings|
|B-Work||bwork.com||B Work connects purpose driven jobseekers with meaningful work at companies that are using business as a force for good|
|GoinGlobal||goinglobal.com||GoinGlobal helps new and experienced job seekers find opportunities both at home and abroad|
|Intern From Home||internfromhome.com||Student-run platform that connects students with startups, non-profits, and other companies for virtual internships|
|CEI Internships||CEI Internships||CEI Internships is composed of 13 internship directories, including Human Rights; Women's Rights; Washington Internships In Law and Policy; Sports; Advertising; Museums; and International Affairs.
To Access: username: BostonCollege, password: GoEagles
If any potential employer requires Boston College to sign an agreement with respect to your employment, please contact Biz Bracher at email@example.com.
Develop a Search Plan
Develop a plan that includes your target career field, ideal geographic location(s), ideal start date, what type of organization you are seeking in terms of size and culture. In addition, we encourage you to set goals for yourself as well as dates for achieving those goals. If you would like help with this process, we encourage you to make an appointment to discuss your goals with a career coach.
Research Target Employers
Most job openings aren’t advertised broadly. They’re usually posted on the organization’s website. Identify promising employers by checking Handshake, working your contacts, checking sites like Vault and LinkedIn, and reading trade websites and magazines. Then go to those employers’ websites to browse job openings.
Track Your Progress
Because you will likely be at different stages of the application process with various organizations at a given time, developing a process to keep track of all the details is key. Keep a spreadsheet that lists the organization, position title, links to the organization’s website and job description, date you submitted your application, date of follow up, date of interview(s), and other pertinent notes or details.
Understand Hiring Timelines
Every career field follows unique recruiting cycles and general hiring timelines. To succeed in your internship search, you need to be aware of the recruiting cycles for your industry of choice. Below we provide information that can serve as a guideline for your own unique internship search based on when BC students have been hired in the past.
Hiring Timelines by Career Cluster
Hiring timelines are based on survey data from Summer 2021.
|Business, Consulting, and Finance||21%||31%||28%||20%|
|Communication, Arts, and Media||7%||13%||39%||41%|
|Education, Nonprofit, and Social Service||6%||6%||33%||54%|
|Government, Law, and Public Policy||4%||4%||45%||47%|
|Healthcare and Nursing||10%||8%||46%||35%|
|Science, Technology, and Engineering||6%||11%||50%||32%|
You may wish you pursue an internship with an organization that is unable to provide a salary. Unpaid internships are common in industries such as arts, media, government, nonprofit, scientific research, and more. If you are going to consider pursuing an unpaid internship, you want to make sure it is a meaningful experience. The Fact #71: Internship Programs Under The Fair Labor Standards Act will be a helpful resource to assist you during your search. The following list provides criteria you should be looking for in an unpaid experience:
- The opportunity will be a learning experience.
- There are clearly defined learning objectives and goals.
- There is supervision and guidance provided by a professional with expertise.
- The opportunity has a defined beginning and end.
- The skills and knowledge you acquire will be transferable to other professional settings.
Eagle Intern Fellowship
Students with demonstrated financial need who are offered an unpaid internship for the summer may be eligible to apply for the Career Center's Eagle Intern Fellowship, which provides funding for unpaid internship experiences. Applications are accepted from January to May.
All students can take up to three 1-credit internships during their four years (including summer) for credit towards graduation. To be approved, students must:
- Commit to a minimum of 50 hours to the internship experience.
- Complete your School's application process.
- MCAS: Complete the Internship Approval process including the Internship Information & Supervisor’s Approval form.
- CSOM/LSOE: Please reach out to your respective Associate Dean for more information.
- Have not already earned a total of 3, one-credit internships and/or 18 pass/fail credits.
- Students can earn credit for paid or unpaid internships.
These internship credits do not count toward major, minor, or University core requirements. Upon internship approval, the student will be enrolled in an Internship One-level coures, then Internship Two-level, or Internship Three-level for the semester during which the student has the internship.
There is no tuition cost to a student for the first summer internship credit. Students choosing to earn credit for a second or third summer internship experience will be charged by the credit hour during the summer of the internship.
Specific course numbers are:
|Internship 1||APSY4197 Applied Psych Internship I||UGMG4197 CSOM Internship I||EDUC4197 Education Internship I||UNAS4197 MCAS Internship I|
|Internship 2||APSY4198 Applied Psych Internship II||UGMG4198 CSOM Internship II||EDUC4198 Education Internship II||UNAS4198 MCAS Internship II|
|Internship 3||APSY4199 Applied Psych Internship III||UGMG4199 CSOM Internship III||EDUC4199 Education Internship III||UNAS4199 MCAS Internship III|
For further questions on academic credit please contact your respective Dean's Office.
- MCAS: Dr. Elizabeth Bracher, Director of Courage to Know | firstname.lastname@example.org
- LSOE: Julia Devoy, PhD, Associate Dean of Undergraduate Programs and Students | email@example.com
- CSOM: Ethan Sullivan, PhD, Senior Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs and Chairperson | firstname.lastname@example.org
Alternatives to Internships
A formal internship is not the only way to gain professional experience. Due to economic limitations and the impact of COVID-19, many BC students need to pursue other types of opportunities to explore careers, gain experience, build skills, and boost their resumes. Review the list below to learn about a few alternatives to internships that you may wish to pursue during your time at BC. We also encourage you to schedule an appointment with a career coach to discuss your options and design a plan to meet your goals.
Career Center Summer Programs
The Career Center’s Praxis Summer Program is a free comprehensive, self-guided summer career program designed to help you recognize and develop the skills most highly sought after by employers. This week-by-week guide will help you reflect on and strengthen these skills in order to give you a competitive advantage when applying to jobs and graduate school in the future. We also offer Trivium, a similar program designed to meet the needs of graduate students.
Working at a part-time job on campus or at another organization provides you the opportunity to gain real-world experience in addition to earning a paycheck. Whether or not it is directly related to your career aspirations, you will build skills that are sought after by all employers, such as leadership, communication, teamwork, critical thinking, and professionalism. Part-time jobs also demonstrate your work ethic.
Projects are short-term experiences that offer an opportunity to boost your resume/portfolio, build skills, and grow your professional network. Through Eagle Exchange you can find listings for projects to apply to. The Forage platform offers hypothetical projects that you can complete to learn more about working in a specific field. You can also seek out freelance projects by promoting your own work through a website portfolio or social media platform.
- Eagle Exchange Alumni Projects
- Forage (previously InsideSherpa)
Job shadows or externships are short-term experiences where you follow a professional throughout their daily activities. They offer an opportunity to explore a field of interest and make valuable connections at an organization. The Career Center offers a formal job shadow program. You can also use Eagle Exchange to make connections with alumni and request to shadow them.
Research is a popular option among BC students. Whether you're conduting your own research or assisting with an existing project, research experience is highly valued by employers. Boston College offers opportunites to engage in research in most fields. You can also participate in research at external organizations or through fellowships.
Volunteering is another popular option among BC students. It is not only a rewarding experience, it also provides you the opportunity to build skills and make connections at an organization. For many nonprofit organizations, volunteering is a cruicial step to being hired for a full-time position. Volunteering also demonstrates your interests and values to a potential employer.
Skill-building courses can help you build technical skills that are sought after by employers. These are typically separate from your Boston College coursework. In some cases, you’ll get a certification by completing the course or program to add to your resume. Below are a few popular options. Depending on the type of skill you want to learn, you will need to do research to determine what program is best.
Research the organization. You will meet many people during your first few days on the internship. Understanding the organization’s mission, structure, and recent news will help you navigate conversations and make a great first impression.
Set goals. Take time to reflect on what you hope to accomplish this summer. Write down your goals and what you expect to gain from this experience. Keep this list for when you meet with your supervisor at the beginning of your internship.
Look over the internship description. Re-familiarize yourself with the skills and tasks that will be expected of you. Write down any questions you have about your role. Make sure you can summarize your responsibilities in a few sentences for when you introduce yourself to other members of your team.
Plan your commute. Make sure you are comfortable with where you need to go and how you will get there. If you have never been to the location before, it is helpful to do a practice run before your first day. If the internship is virtual, designate a quiet place to work before your first day.
Prepare what you will wear. Verify that you understand the dress code for the organization. If your hiring manager did not clarify this already, reach out to ask what attire is expected. It is better to be dressed more professionally than casually on your first day. You can always adjust your attire based on the environment you experience.
- If you need assistance, check out our Career Closet to access free professional attire.
Complete Necessary Paperwork. Confirm with your supervisor or recruiting contact that you have completed all the needed paperwork before your first day. If your internship is remote and requires an I-9, the Student Employment office can help.
Students who find a remote internship position with an off-campus organization that is out of state or not local can have their Form I-9s completed by an authorized representative in the Student Employment Office. Please contact Eriliza Guerrero to schedule an appointment to have your I-9 completed by an authorized representative. Per federal guidelines, you must bring original documentation when you arrive to have your I-9 completed. Please refer to the USCIS website for information on the List of Acceptable Documents you need to bring for I-9 completion.
Meet with your supervisor. It is important to meet early with your supervisor so you can get to know each other and understand their expectations. Make sure you are clear on your day-to-day responsibilities. Bring your list of personal goals to share with them as you discuss and align those goals with the goals for your internship.
Get to know everyone. Meet as many people as you can in the organization. Strive to have meaningful conversations so you can build strong relationships. Not only will it help you have a better internship experience, it will also help you in the future when you need recommendations or referrals.
Meet with your supervisor regularly. It is important to meet with your supervisor regularly to check-in on your work and ask questions. Request feedback to ensure you are on the right track. If your supervisor does not schedule regular meetings, reach out to request to meet with them.
Be active. Even if things are slow, find ways to keep busy. Check in with your supervisor, offer your help to another member of your team, or come up with projects that you could work on in your down time and present them to your supervisor. Employers value team members that take initiative.
Take pride in your work. No matter what you are asked to do, you want to do it well. Take on assigned tasks with enthusiasm. Make sure you pay attention to instructions and details. This is how you will stand out as an intern and gain respect from your team.
Stay organized and manage your time well. Develop a system to manage and prioritize your tasks. Communicate regularly with your supervisor and team to keep them updated on the status of your work. If you are overwhelmed or running late on a task, it is better to communicate this in advance. If you need assistance with developing an organizational system, ask your supervisor or trusted colleague for advice.
Be professional. Be punctual, act with integrity, take responsibility for your actions, and be respectful. Professionalism is necessary for success in the workplace.
Meet with a Career Coach. Our coaches are available all summer to help you make the most of your internship experience. If your internship isn't going as planned or you have an issue or question, schedule an appointment with a coach to discuss.
Get feedback on your performance. There may be a formal review process at your organization where you can get feedback from your supervisor on your performance. If there isn’t, ask your supervisor for feedback so you can learn what you’ve done well and where you need to improve.
Ask colleagues for references. Before you finish your internship, line up your list of references. Ask your supervisor and relevant colleagues if they would be willing to be listed as references for you in the future. You can also ask them to write letters of recommendation for you.
Say thank you. Show your appreciation for your supervisor and colleagues who helped you throughout your internship. Send thank you notes/emails or say it in person on your last day. Be specific about what you learned from the experience and from them.
Reflect on the experience. What did you enjoy about the internship? What did you learn? What skills did you gain? What would you do differently or what do you wish had been different about the experience? Reflect on these questions to help you prepare for your next steps. Meet with a career coach to debrief and discuss what comes next for you.
Update your resume. Add this experience and any relevant new skills to your resume. Do this early so you are ready to find your next experience. Have your updates reviewed during the Career Center’s drop-in hours.
Stay in touch. Continue to nurture the relationships you made during the summer. Send periodic email updates. If they are local, invite them to meet up for a coffee.
Virtual internships are more common than ever due to the pandemic. Even as offices start to open back up, it’s likely that at least some virtual internships are here to stay. You’ll need to be prepared to succeed.
Diversity & Leadership Programs
The document is arranged by career cluster. Each of our 6 industry-focused career clusters has its own tab within this document. You can see all tabs by using the arrows at the bottom of the screen. You can use this list as a reference to research up to date programs at these organizations