Besides fulfilling your childhood dreams of living in an exciting city, interning in Washington, DC. is a great launchpad for your career. Washington, DC is known for political, communication, and medical internships and has a rich and vibrant historical, media, and intern scene.

Summer internships provide you with many valuable experiences, giving a real taste of what it’ll be like to work in your preferred industry down the line. You’ll connect with potential mentors, learn trade secrets, and build relationships with coworkers with a range of expertise. Internships beef up resumes, provide valuable avenues to letters of recommendation, and can even turn into full-time jobs. If you consider all of these perks of interning and add the benefit of exploring a diverse city that’s full of opportunities, you have a very compelling list of reasons to intern in Washington, DC. Continue reading along for tips on how to find the best paid summer 2020 or fall internships in Washington, DC. 

Tips for your resume and profiles

Before you get started on sending out applications, make sure that you have your resume up to date and have fully filled out all your Handshake profile details. With a complete profile, an impressive Washington, DC internship is more attainable than ever. Recruiters are much more likely to message a student with a complete profile that says you want to work in DC than an unfinished one.

Tips for your internship interview

When you do land your first interview, be it a virtual interview or in person, make sure to come prepared and dressed to impress. Review your resume and cover letter to make sure you have specific examples of your experience to share, from clubs or coursework. You can even schedule a mock interview with your university’s career center or, if you’re tight on time, ask a trusted friend to grill you on some common interview questions.

Tips for networking at college internships in Washington, DC

Once you’ve landed an internship in Washington, DC and settled into the flow of day-to-day life at the office, start chatting with your coworkers. Whether they’re industry professionals or fellow interns, it’s important to treat them with equal respect. You never know what insights they could lend, or who could be a valuable connection down the line, five or ten years from now. Don’t be afraid to ask your new colleagues out for quick coffee chats, or request 15-minute informational interviews about their career trajectory.

Want more tips for getting the most out of your internship?

Looking for specific advice before your internship begins? Or are you hungry for further information even after your internship is over? A good way to delve even deeper into your career path growth is to attend a virtual event or two. Not only will you be learning more about your own career, but there will also be chances to network with employers, industry specialists, and other students sharing different perspectives.

Where can I find an internship in Washington, DC?

Here is a list of employers looking for interns in Washington, DC, including some of the best companies to intern for in DC:

Facebook

Facebook is a social media platform and technology company.

  • Industry: Internet & Software
  • Types of roles: Auditors, Bookkeeping, Product Managers, Software Developers and Engineers
  • Recommended applicants: Consider applying for an internship at Facebook if you’re majoring in marketing, design, or computer science, or if you’ve taken courses in applicable fields.

Microsoft

Microsoft is a multinational technology company.

  • Industry: Internet & Software
  • Types of roles: Data Analysts, Project Managers, Sales Agents, Software Developers and Engineers
  • Recommended applicants: Consider applying for an internship at Microsoft if you’re majoring in data science or marketing, or if you’ve taken courses in applicable fields.

Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education

The Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education is a U.S. Department of Energy institute focusing on scientific initiatives to research health risks.

  • Industry: Research
  • Types of roles: Chemical Engineers, Data Scientists, Environmental Scientists, University Student Researchers  
  • Recommended applicants: Consider applying for an internship at the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education if you’re majoring in engineering or environmental studies, or if you’ve taken applicable courses in similar fields.

AlphaSights

AlphaSights is an information services company that provides on-demand business expertise across all industries.

  • Industry: Management Consulting
  • Types of roles: Business Analysts, Data Analysts, IT Analysts
  • Recommended applicants: Consider applying for an internship at AlphaSights if you’re majoring in business or computer science, or if you’ve taken courses in similar fields.

Lockheed Martin

Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company.

  • Industry: Aerospace
  • Types of roles: Aerospace Engineers, Electrical Engineers, Fine Artists, Software Developers
  • Recommended applicants: Consider applying for an internship at Lockheed Martin if you’re majoring in aerospace engineering or math, or if you’ve taken courses in applicable fields.

Clean Water Action

Clean Water Action is an environmental advocacy group working to promote democratic processes and preserve key natural resources. 

  • Industry: Politics
  • Types of roles: Fundraisers and Fundraising Managers, Public Policy and Government Affairs Advocates, Lobbyists 
  • Recommended applicants: Consider applying for an internship at Clean Water Action if you’re majoring in politics or environmental science, or if you’ve taken courses in applicable fields.

Baker Tilly

Baker Tilly is a public accounting and consulting firm.

  • Industry: Accounting
  • Types of roles: Accountants, Administrative Services Managers
  • Recommended applicants: Consider applying for an internship at Baker Tilly if you’re majoring in business or accounting, or if you’ve taken courses in similar fields.

Partnership for Public Service

The Partnership for Public Service is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization focused on inspiring a new generation of civil servants.

  • Industry: Non-Profit
  • Types of roles: Brand Ambassadors, Graphic Designers, Technical Writers, Project Managers
  • Recommended applicants: Consider applying for an internship at the Partnership for Public Service if you’re majoring in politics or business, or if you’ve taken applicable courses in the same areas of study.

KPMG LLP

KPMG LLP is a global network of professional firms providing audit, tax, and advisory services.

Industry: Accounting

  • Types of roles: Accountants, Auditors, Marketing Managers, and Specialists
  • Recommended applicants: Look into KPMG internships if you’re majoring in accounting or finance, or if you’ve taken applicable courses in accounting, marketing, or finance. Consider this role if you want one of the best marketing internships in Washington, DC

Amazon

Amazon is the largest digital marketplace with branches in streaming, AI, and cloud computing.

  • Industry: Internet & Software
  • Types of roles: Software Developers and Engineers, Administrative Services Managers, Business Analysts, and Management Consultants
  • Recommended applicants: An Amazon internship could be a good fit if you’re interested in a workplace with a wide variety of job opportunities, and believe your major and skillset to be a match to your specific desired role.

Goldman Sachs

Goldman Sachs is a global investment banking and financial services company that offers services in investment management, assets, brokerage, and securities underwriting.

  • Industry: Investment Banking
  • Types of roles: Accountants, Business Analysts and Management Consultants, Investment Banking Analysts
  • Recommended applicants: Consider applying for a Goldman Sachs internship if you’re majoring in business or accounting, or have taken applicable courses in management or accounting.

Tips and tricks to surviving your Washington, DC internship

If you’re a transplant or even if you’ve called Washington, DC home forever, it never hurts to review advice for living in the city during your internship. After you’ve figured out how to get an internship in Washington, DC, think about the other parts of your internship journey.

Buy a SmarTrip Card

No matter where your apartment is located or where you’re commuting to, you’re almost always going to need public transportation to get there. Purchasing a SmarTrip Card is highly recommended to make reloading funds a breeze.

If you’re frequently commuting and feeling savvy, go for the monthly pass! You’ll be able to mindlessly ride the subway during busy commute hours and have swipes for extra errands on the weekends. 

Don’t get (too) lost, download DC Metro and Bus

This transit app will help get you oriented to the city and find the right connections to wherever you’re going.

4 essential Washington, DC restaurants to try during your internship 

  1. Le Diplomate
  2. Thip Khao
  3. Chercher
  4. Federalist Pig

Things to experience during your time in Washington, DC

  1. Smithsonian Museum
  2. National Museum of African American History
  3. U.S. Capitol
  4. Lincoln Memorial

3 neighborhoods to considering living in during your DC internship

  1. Georgetown
  2. Foggy Bottom
  3. U Street

How do I find an apartment in Washington, DC?

Consider these resources to help your DC apartment search:

  1. Apartments.com
  2. Zillow
  3. The Washington Intern Housing Network
  4. Padmapper
  5. Join a Washington, DC Housing, Rooms, Apartments, and Sublets group on Facebook

Where to order food from in DC?

  1. DoorDash
  2. Caviar
  3. Postmates
  4. UberEats
  5. Check out your neighborhood’s local delivery restaurants

Finding an internship in Washington, DC

How do I find the best paid internships in DC?

When searching for a paid internship in Washington, DC, it’s key to use the location filters provided on Handshake. You’ll be able to pinpoint internships exactly where you want to intern just by selecting the city you want in the search bar. Easy internships in Washington, DC are just a search away. 

You can also research top companies in Washington, DC by visiting our list of Handshake employers and typing Washington, DC into the “Location” search bar. This way you’ll be able to see employers in your desired location. Once on the company’s page, you can read reviews from students who have interned there or study up on some interview questions.

Where do interns live in Washington, DC?

To find rentals, many interns use resources like Zillow, Padmapper, and other sites specifically for apartment hunting. If you have any connections in the city, it’s also always good to consider those first.

To start your hunt, try searching in popular neighborhoods like Georgetown, Foggy Bottom, or U Street.

How can an intern live in Washington, DC?

Moving to a new city is equal parts exciting and nerve wracking–make sure you have all your details squared away for your internship before you pack your bags. 

Here are a few things to consider:

  • Have you checked out tips on how to land an internship?
  • Do you need your internship to provide compensation?
  • Are you renting in an affordable neighborhood?
  • Are you comfortable using the metro frequently?
  • Will the food options available work for you?

How can I get an internship without experience in Washington, DC?

If you don’t have previous experience and want to kickstart your first internship in DC, don’t fret! There are definitely ways to land that role you’ve had your eyes on. DC internships want you!

Start by reviewing your resume! Read it over a couple of times and then consider the types of internships you’re going to be applying for. Think back to courses you’ve taken at university, as well as any extracurriculars, volunteer work, or even organizations (clubs or greek life for example) that you’ve participated in. Organize the skills that you’ve gained from those experiences and add them to your resume and Handshake profile. Even though you might not have held an internship or job before, there are still ways to prove your worth through other skills and experiences.