Crafting A Unique Experience

Many organizations do not recruit through a formal process, but that doesn’t mean they do not have interns. Preparation is needed for a successful experience and students are encouraged to begin this process early. OCS provides access to thousands of opportunities around the globe and also helps students craft an experience to fit their unique interests.

  • Step One: Determine Your Goals – Is the internship a way to try out a career field, engage in research, or participate in an independent study project? Do you want to improve your foreign language skills or explore a new culture? A great place to start is to understand your career interests, personal values, and skills.
  • Step Two: Make Contact – Building new professional relationships is essentially networking. OCS has numerous resources to help you through this process on our Networking page. Reach out to alums through Cross Campus, LinkedIn, and the Peer Networking Lists in the Career Library in Yale Career Link.
  • Step Three: Develop A Learning Plan – After connecting with an individual or organization interested in considering you for an internship, it is important to clarify expectations (both yours and the employer’s) for the experience to be meaningful. Consider developing a Learning Plan in collaboration with your supervisor, which is a document that articulates summer goals, how you will achieve and evaluate them, and the structure of supervision.

Other tips for creating your own professional experience include:

  • Be flexible and consider a number of ways to create a professional opportunity: volunteering, part-time jobs, short-term internships, remote micro-internships, remote internships, and shadowing.
  • Make a list of all the businesses/organizations of interest in your hometown. What functions do they have that they may need support with? Do they have any opportunities for a part-time student to create something they need?
  • Expand the list of potential employers in your hometown by using the following resources: Guidestar, and CareerShift (Company Search). Also, check out your local Chamber of Commerce Directory for more ideas.
  • Consider hometown connections who may be able to assist you: family, friends, past teachers/coaches, past supervisors, high school alumni, a Yale Alumni Club in your area.
  • If you are looking for part-time work, you may need to call businesses directly or email your resume to them. This may include remote micro-internships, or part-time or freelance work including online tutoring, etc.
  • Use larger job boards such as CareerShift (access through Yale Career Link, under the Resources section), idealist.org, Indeed.com, and Monster.com. Of course, keep your eyes on Yale Career Link’s job board but make use of others as well.