Getting hands-on experience during your frosh or sophomore year will allow you to develop meaningful connections with faculty, alumni, and employers; gain valuable experience; and prototype your career interests to make informed decisions about your future plans. There are many ways for you to get experience, including:
- Summer internships
- Part-time jobs
- Freelance or entrepreneurial work
- Leadership programs
- Research opportunities at Stanford or other institutions
- Volunteer work and service learning opportunities
- Job shadowing and informational interviewing
Apply for Posted Opportunities
You can find internships and other opportunities online or through career fairs and information sessions. Here are a few suggestions for locating posted opportunities:
Search for opportunities on Handshake, Stanford’s opportunity database.
Attend a career fair or information session and talk with recruiters about opportunities.
Peruse general internships sites like internships.com, wayup.com, linkedin.com, and idealist.org.
Check the websites of companies and organizations that interest you.
To find fellowships, try the Haas Center’s Fellowships, Internships and Service Programs (FISP) database or Stanford’s On- and Off-Campus Learning Opportunities (SOLO) database.
Develop Connections to Find “Hidden” Opportunities
Developing and maintaining relationships is an important part of searching for internships and other opportunities because studies show that 70-85% of opportunities are found through networking. In fact, your connections can open doors to opportunities that are not posted anywhere else. Here are some ideas to start building and leveraging your network:
Tell everyone you know that you’re looking for opportunities. Reach out to friends, family, family friends, previous employers and high school or community college teachers to ask them about any opportunities or people they know in your field of interest. And don’t forget to use your Stanford connections like faculty, student services staff, upper-level students, peer advisors, and RAs.
Connect with Stanford alumni using LinkedIn or Stanford Alumni Mentoring (SAM). It’s easy – alumni understand the Stanford experience and want to help you! Find out where they work, what they do, and how they get there and ask for advice about forging your own path after Stanford.
Create a Customized Resume
To apply for internships and other opportunities, your one-page resume should connect your past experience with the employer’s needs and demonstrate why you’re qualified for an opportunity. Follow these steps to create or tailor your resume:
Decide what you want the employer to know about you and your experience.
Organize your information under descriptive headings that summarize your relevant experience for the employer.
Describe each experience, focusing on directly-related skills that demonstrate you are a good match for the position.
Format the document to help the content stand out.