How to Get an Internship in a Common Good Career (Nonprofit/Government)

If you are looking to try and secure an internship in the nonprofit or government sector, below are some tips:


  • Many internships are posted now but will continue to be posted for the next couple of months.
  • Fellowships are due in mid-February but you do not need to have position secured to apply.
  • You should make sure your resume is in good shape and ready to go. Each cover letter will be tweaked for the specific position.

SET UP ALERTS IN JOB BOARDS – Depending on the industry you are targeting, be sure to set up email alerts for any relevant job boards.  Examples include:

CREATE A TARGET LIST – Start to research and find employers of interest. The goal is 20-40 target employers that you ideally want to work for this summer. The following JOB SEARCH ROADMAP walks you through how to research employers, how to find alumni who work for these employers and more.

USE THE #1 RESOURCE THAT OCS OFFERS: THE PEER NETWORKING LISTS which allow you to get ideas on organizations by picking specific industries; allows you to find alumni and peers who have worked at places you’re interested in.

SEARCH THE STUDENTS GRANTS DATABASE FOR FUNDING OF ANY UNPAID OR UNDERFUNDED OPPORTUNITIES. MANY DEADLINE ARE MID-FEBRUARY. Note: You do not need to have the position secured to apply for a Yale fellowship. It is too early for many of these to be secured and that is okay. There are recommendation letters so needed so the time to act is NOW.

By Robyn Acampora
Robyn Acampora Director of Strategic Initiatives and Public Service Careers