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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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
If you are offered an unpaid internship for the summer, you may be eligible to apply for the Career Center's Eagle Intern Fellowship. It is an opportuntiy to receive $3,500 in funding towards your unpaid experience. Priority is given to those with financial need. Applications are accepted from January to April.
In some cases, you can earn academic credit at Boston College for an internship. There are a variety of processes to get credit for an internship.
- You may apply for one credit for an internship. The internship can be paid or unpaid, but must be 50+ hours in length and is graded as Pass or Fail. Only one such credit will be counted toward the 120 credits required for graduation. To get academic credit for an internship, you must complete the Internship Approval Form, have it filled out by your supervisor and bring it to Academic Advising. Once the supervisor confirms that you completed the internship, Academic Advising will then indicate that you have passed the course on your record.
- Occasionally, employers will ask for proof that the University will allow the internship to be taken for credit. If this is the case, you should bring the internship listing to Academic Advising. If the internship satisfies the criteria, you will receive a letter indicating that the University does allow the internship to be taken for credit.
- Some academic programs may offer academic credit for an internship, so you will need to contact your academic department for specifics of how many credits you may earn and any other requirements. Below are links for more information for some BC majors. If your major is not listed here, contact your department anyway.
- Carroll School of Management: Students may receive a one-credit practicum for unpaid work in the business world. You will need to complete internship paperwork with your supervisor and submit it to the Senior Associate Dean’s Office. Students will need to work a minimum of 10 hours per week in order to get credit for an internship. You may get credit for an unpaid internship twice during your four years here at Boston College.
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.
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.
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.