Gone are the summers of sitting by the pool, lifeguarding or babysitting to make some extra cash.
For college students, school breaks are the prime time to gain “real world” experience in their desired (or not-so-desired) job field. For the many students who don’t quite know what they want to be when they grow up, the options are limitless — but can also be daunting.
So what should you do during the snowy weeks of winter or the never-ending sunny days of June? Here are the best 35 internships for college students, regardless of majors, interests or field.
For undergraduates with strong organizational and communication skills, administrative internships can be found in a variety of companies in a bigger variety of fields. Love the theater? Theater administration promotes the production of a company’s shows through interaction with the community and the production team. Interested in health? Help collect research and data to manage programs and policies of the hospital you’re working for.
Architecture internships combine the creativity of design with practical and real-world problems of transportation, navigation, migration and land development. Interns can gain experience with anything from scaling drawings and model making to reviewing site plans for urban planning.
3. Art Curating
For those interested in art — not necessarily making it, but curating it — should look to art museums for positions. Across the country, famous museums like the Museum of Fine Arts or the Metropolitan Museum of Art offer opportunities for students to get hands-on experience on-site.
Want to try your hand at banking but don’t feel particularly drawn to investment banking or finance? Opportunities like the Morgan Stanley Scholarship for Women provide a chance to delve into the world of banking — including global capital markets, equity research and wealth management.
Want to build your network in the theater scene by dealing with agents, managers and other theater professionals? Learn to pick and choose talent with a casting internship.
Are you an organized, disciplined, and collaborative person? Consulting is a large field dedicated to helping businesses improve their performances. These internships can be found at a multitude of companies in a variety of fields, helping you develop your people and problem-solving skills regardless of who you’re working with.
It’s all about the numbers — if you’re experienced with handling data with a computer science background, a data analysis internship can help apply these skills to real, thriving (or not-so-thriving business). These interns analyze and interpret data using statistics, improve data collection and can even work to maintain databases.
We always need to clean and check in on our teeth, and over 25,000 students last year were enrolled in predoctoral dental programs. Put your experience to the test with an internship at a dentist's office. Dentistry interns work alongside dentists, endodontists, periodontists, oral surgeons and orthodontists throughout their internships to get a holistic office experience.
9. Educational Policy
Interested in making a difference in the way education policy works? Want to foster student achievement and help improve U.S. schools? A summer internship like the one at U.S. Department of Education in D.C. offers experience in numerous areas of the office — anything from policy analysis to community outreach to news media.
Do you love reading over your friends’ papers? Do you correct others when they trip up on their grammar? Publications are everywhere — and so is the need for editors. The best place to start looking is your favorite magazine, blog, newspaper or website.
Finance internship recruiters often look for undergraduates with backgrounds in economics, statistics, mathematics or business. If those are areas of your expertise, a finance internship can give you experience analyzing reports, preparing statements, assisting with audits and even data entry.
For those interested in working in the hotel business after graduation, hospitality internships are great opportunities to experience the inner workings of a hotel. Meet, interact and connect with customers, and learn how to problem-solve and think on your feet throughout what’s sure to be a busy summer.
13. Human Resources
Interested in administration and management? Do you love people? Human resource interns work directly with a company’s HR department to help oversee recruitment, review, and management of employees. These internships can be found at a multitude of companies, whether it’s at J.P Morgan or the Wildlife Conservation Society.
14. Investment Banking
For those interested in finance but specifically investments and research, investment banking offers the opportunity to take a deep dive into a banker’s everyday projects. Interns help with the execution of merges and acquisition mandates, as well as provide support through financial analysis and statistical research.
With the ever-changing nature of journalism in the technology age, journalism internships offer writing experience in anything from hard news to lifestyle. Often aimed toward editorial work, these internships provide interns with experience to real-life newsrooms and the stories that affect their nearby communities.
If law school is your dream, legal internships are great places to get your foot into the door. Numerous programs offer the chance to observe court proceedings, work alongside attorneys, or even draft briefs and motions or conduct research.
“Marketing” is often a buzzword in the professional world, and that doesn’t mean it’s not all the rage in internships as well. Marketing doesn’t just have to be simply statistic-based with research and analyzing data; those who tend to be more into creative areas like design or copywriting can flourish in this field too. Internships in marketing can be found in various companies and business, whether it’s in retail at Macy’s or at a big software company like Microsoft.
Music internships range in responsibilities, whether it’s performing, reviewing, marketing or even producing. Spotify offers positions both academic and co-op in various departments, including communications or engineering.
Podcasts are the newest wave in media with easy ways to access niche fandom conversations, hard news, creative writing, sports data, theater reviews, pop psychology…the list goes on. Podcast interns assist with research for a podcast’s new episodes, fact checking, preparing and recording podcasts and even promoting new work.
20. Political Affairs
If you’re interested in getting involved with politics, being a political affairs intern gives you access to the inner workings of government on various levels. Whether it’s a local official or a state representative, political affairs work gives interns a landing point to develop public outreach, communication, media, production and collaborative skills.
Want to get your next favorite candidate elected? Working as a political campaign intern allows you to get out the vote and work with political strategists to try and secure the win. Get ready to communicate and collaborate with the community of voters and work in a fast-paced, exciting office environment.
22. Product Design
The technology industry is sleek for a reason. Product design professionals are not only masters of design, but also in user experience. If you’re interested in developing or improving products to help users and solve their problems, big tech companies like Google, Facebook, Groupon and Dropbox are great places to search.
If you’re interested in face-paced, multi-faceted work in the arts business, being a production assistant throws you into the deep end of whatever project you’re working on. Production assistants are responsible for assisting in any step of the process, whether it’s developing stories or purchasing supplies.
If you love reading, writing, copyediting, fact checking, and research, a publishing internship might be right for you. Internships are offered year round at famous publishing houses like Penguin Random House, Hachette Book Group and HarperCollins. Should you want an educational experience about publishing as a career, schools like NYU and Columbia offer crash-course immersive programs in the field.
Have a favorite radio show that you can’t stop listening to in the car? Become a radio intern and learn how to put together a radio show from start to finish. Shows like the Elvis Duran Morning Show offer opportunities for undergraduates with strong communication, media, and creative skills.
26. Research Intern, Assistant, or Scientist
Many undergraduates spend their time on campus in the lab doing research for various courses. This research doesn’t need to stop when school ends; numerous labs across the country often look for student interns, assistants, or scientists to help them over the summer. Many medical research programs offer opportunities to directly interact with faculty and their work, free housing, and even transportation stipends.
While working in retail is a common undergraduate job, retail interns move to the next level by working in marketing and managing in the field. The Nordstrom Retail Management Internship Program is top-rated and prides itself on giving interns hands-on experience alongside company professionals.
If retail and marketing interest you, a sales internship provides the perfect combination of both on-the-ground work and advertising. Sales interns will help promote a company’s product and content through a variety of strategies, often using a blend of new media and data analysis.
29. Social Media
Social media interns are in hot demand, and companies are looking for young students to fill these positions. If you’re experienced with numerous social media platforms — Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat (and the list continues)—and have a knack for content development, a social media internship is right for you.
For those on the technical side of things, software and web development internships provide positions for those who love all things coding. Put your Java, Swift, or C++ skills to the test by developing projects for tech companies, often the big names like Google and Facebook.
If you can rattle off stats and scores for any sport, a sports internship like careers at ESPN can turn your fandom into a career. There’s areas for every type of sports fan, including those who like to be in front of the camera or those analyzing statistics in the back.
For those passionate about the environment, sustainability internships allow students to put their emotions into action through environmental policy and management. Internships are available at many major environmental companies, administrations, and services such as the Department of Energy or the Environmental Protection Agency.
Have an interest in education, mentoring young students, or simply teaching others? Schools all over the U.S. often look for undergraduates to help assist with courses, become substitute teachers, or even teach full-time courses—especially in summer programs in college campuses. Teaching experiences over the summer often have increased focus on inclusive and diverse learning environments—check out the work at UnCommon Schools as well as niche subjects in programs that offer extended summer learning experiences—like EXPLO at Yale.
34. Video Production
For most of the content we can read, we can also find a video with exciting graphics and storytelling to get across similar information. Video production interns are in high demand across the board, whether it’s for news sources, blogs or companies hoping to market their products. Those with video editing skills and an eye for good content can have their pick.
35. Women’s Health
If you’re interested in fighting for women’s health rights, internships in women’s health can provide support for policy and action through the local and national community. Interns responsibilities can include working to advocate for patients, increasing organization membership and participation, promoting fundraising.
Zoë Kaplan is an English major at Wesleyan University in the class of 2020. She writes about women, theater, sports, and everything in between. Read more of Zoë’s work at www.zoëkaplan.com.