Research career paths

The Best Internships for College Seniors

Searching for an internship during senior year? It's never too late to start applying.

The last year of college is usually one of transformation and realizations. It’s a great time to take on a final internship or two to lay the foundation for post graduate life. Full-time work can be found through a promising internship and change many senior student’s job prospects. It’s a great time to get those last new skills in before you’re released into the working world.

In what college year do you ideally go for internships?

Depending on the student and when they feel ready, the best year in college to get an internship varies. Some know exactly what they want their freshman year and others need more time to assess. Senior year is a great time to set yourself up for a strong career path. Who knows? Your senior year internship could turn into a full-time position after graduation!

Is it ever too late to get an internship?

No! It’s never too late to start an internship and build your experience and skills. Everyone moves at their own pace and sometimes it takes longer to find that perfect fit.

Best internships for fourth year college students

The best internships for seniors are usually the ones that line up well with your area of study and what you want to do post graduation. For example, a marketing internship would be good for a communications or advertising major! While a software engineering internship would be great for an engineering or computer science major!

How to search for senior internships

Four ways to search for a senior internship:

  1. Handshake: search your area for “senior 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 senior 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 senior year 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 senior

Many places hiring senior 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 teamplayer. 

What should I write in my cover letter for a senior 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 senior 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.