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The Best Internships for a College Freshman

Get useful experience early in your college career with a freshman internship!

Freshman internships are great for helping college students decide what major they want to study and what assess careers they’re interested in. If you’re looking for more hands on experience earlier in your college career, then an internship during your freshman year is a great way to go.

When should you start internships in college?

College students all start their internships at different points. Some start when they’re more seasoned students and others want to get started immediately — their freshman year. Make sure that you have a workable schedule and factor in the time your internship will take up. 

You should start internships in college when you feel ready to juggle another responsibility on your calendar! 

Best internships for first year college students

The best internships for freshmen are ones that allow you to gain experience and balance school at the same time. During your first year you’ll do a lot of learning about how you work best and how much time you have outside of class. If you’re considering an internship during your freshman year, try searching for something close to or on campus.

How to search for freshman internships?

Four ways to search for a freshman internship:

  1. Handshake: search your area for “freshman internships” using Handshake’s easy job filtering feature
  2. University: browse your school’s job listing page or ask your professors if they know of any openings for freshman internships
  3. Personal Network: reach out to classmates, professors, or upperclassmen in other majors and see if they have any advice or connections
  4. Handshake Network: search on Handshake for other students and alumni who have had internships that you’re interested in who can answer your questions about their job, how they liked it, and how to go about applying to something similar

How to get an internship as a college freshman?

Many places hiring freshman interns are looking for similar keywords in resumes, but what makes the right candidate is listing the skills that make you stand out.

List your past experiences 

Even if you’ve never had an internship role, you definitely have skills from past experiences you can offer. From mentorships, volunteer roles, and school projects that you did–there are always skills you can pull from your life that apply.

Six soft skills that might make you a better candidate on your resume:

  1. Quick learner
  2. Natural leader
  3. Organized
  4. Accountable
  5. Detail oriented
  6. Collaborative

Technical skills

It’s likely this might be your first internship, but if it’s not then you may have some technical skills from previous jobs to add to your resume. It’s always a good idea to mention that you have strong industry specific skills, know how to manage projects, or have had experience leading and also being a team player. 

What should I write in my cover letter for a freshman internship?

Besides your resume, your cover letter is another chance to really sell yourself as a future intern.

Three things you should include in your freshman internship cover letter:

  1. Previous experiences (volunteer or extracurricular) and how they apply to the role you are applying for
  2. Why you’re passionate about and interested in working with them
  3. Specific examples of how you could contribute to their mission

Check out this article with proper formatting techniques and more in depth information about the perfect cover letter.