Written by Evan Farnping, Brown University, College Contact Counselor
Finding internships can be incredibly difficult when you don’t know where to begin. Fortunately, many universities offer highly informational resources and opportunities for interns and even job opportunities. Therefore, I will talk about my experiences with this as a student at Brown University. Hence, after reading this, you can understand and compare the different resources available for university students interested in internships and other job-related opportunities.
It is necessary to address that being part of the Ivy Circle comes with numerous benefits. A good chunk of internship opportunities derive from networking. Therefore, quite a few unique opportunities are available for students at Brown University. For example, other Ivy League schools sometimes only have internship opportunities for Ivy League students, such as research. Moreover, many students obtain internships directly from professors, guest speakers, other alums, and other individuals and organizations via word of mouth. Hence, networking is quite an excellent way to not only build connections but also attain exclusive internships.
Moreover, when it comes to more specific resources and opportunities, there is the Careers in the Common Good (CCG) Winternships. The CCG internship program is a fantastic and unique way for students to get some experience working remotely over the long winter break. In this program, various companies from various industries look to recruit students to work remotely on unique projects. Some industries include education, business, law, technology, finance, healthcare, and more. To start, a student chooses their company of interest and sends a resume and cover letter. Following that, they will have an interview with the company. Another nice perk is that students who have higher levels of financial need will receive more money while working. Interestingly, as of this writing, I was accepted into one of these companies involved with education and finance. Not only does this align with my professional goals, I am getting paid quite well for it.
Another great resource is BrownConnect. Essentially, BrownConnect links students, alums, parents, and friends to extend learning beyond the classroom and promote mentoring and professional growth long past graduation. BrownConnect, at its core, is a hub where alums and other organizations specifically reach out to Brown University students for work opportunities. Internships here range from a wide variety of opportunities from multiple industries. Often, one would work with an alum on projects, startups, etc. All in all, BrownConnect provides solid opportunities to work in fields of interest, network, and earn a good amount of money.
Sometimes, students may want to work on opportunities that aren't paid (or low paying) but still receive compensation. Fortunately, some programs assist with that. While these programs usually don't directly help students look for internships, they provide valuable resources like financial compensation. While there are many sub-programs, the over-encompassing fact is that the program supports on-campus and off-campus opportunities that don't have to be directly related to Brown University. Hence, this program is fantastic for niche opportunities, low-paying to unpaid opportunities, and individual desires like independent research.
Essentially, Handshake is like LinkedIn but specifically for companies interested in university students. The platform is incredibly useful for researching potential internships and other opportunities like full-time positions. Moreover, companies often host seminars for students to learn more about the company. Moreover, there are exclusive opportunities and events for Brown University students and fellow Ivy League schools. Features such as this have netted me great opportunities related to fields of interest such as computer science and finance. Another good aspect is that companies will directly reach out, especially once you fill out your home page and list your interests. Sometimes, you will receive direct offers like I have when an education company reaches out to me for a job. All in all, out of all of the resources, Handshake is the most diverse and does quite a lot of the heavy lifting for you.
Amazingly, there are even more programs and resources that help students find opportunities. However, most of these are smaller-scale and sometimes department-specific. For example, as part of the computer science department, students sometimes receive emails about special time-sensitive opportunities. Another example is international programs in places like Sweden and Germany. Furthermore, many local opportunities like the iProv Summer Fellowship provide a stipend for an 8 to 10-week internship with nonprofit organizations based in the greater Providence area. Essentially, there are more resources than what was listed here that were incredibly useful when I was trying to figure out what was possible.
On Campus Employment
While on-campus employment isn't an internship, it does help. For example, as a teaching assistant for a business-related class, that experience helped me land a paid internship for a finance-educational company. Essentially, any experience can be very helpful in getting the internship you want. Therefore, getting on-campus employment, particularly in your field of interest, is incredibly helpful and rewarding.
While LinkedIn is not anything new, it should be mentioned. Having made a proper LinkedIn page with the help of some guides that Brown University provides, LinkedIn can help in receiving internship opportunities. For example, at the time of this writing, a company reached out to see if I was interested in interning as a software engineer working on an AI system related to education and consulting. The reason is most likely due to my LinkedIn page, as it is clear I have experience in computer science, education, and consulting. Therefore, while LinkedIn isn't the 'best' for college students and thus shouldn't be the biggest priority, it is still incredibly useful to have and has benefited me greatly.
Hopefully, you found this helpful and interesting. If you want more in-depth help, email me at email@example.com where you can book a session with me to talk about any aspects of the college application process, talk more about getting internship opportunities, check your essays, what was covered here, and more.
I look forward to seeing you!