How to Find a Summer Internship

During the Summer Opportunities and Funding Fair on December 7, several MCS advisors were asked, “how do I find an independent internship?” Securing your own internship requires a considerable amount of prep and planning beforehand, but the result is often well worth it. Students who plan their own internship experience often find that it precisely meets their goals. MCS has a number of resources to help you get started on your internship search. As always, MCS advisors are readily available to talk through your plans during drop-ins or a 30-minute advising appointment. Check out the following tips and resources below: 

Man and woman sitting on opposite sides of desk, shaking hands.

  1. Crimson Careers 
    • Crimson Careers has a number of functions, including a job board. Scan it regularly for internships. You can search by industry or sector, geographic location, etc.  
  1. Online 
    • Use online tools to search for organizations or groups that may interest you. For example, you could prompt ChatGPT to develop target lists by field of interest, field of study, location, format (virtual, hybrid, in-person), etc. Then, research those organizations on LinkedIn and other platforms.  
  1. Cold Email 
    • Use the MCS guide to Making Connections and the “Sample Introductory Email” when you’re ready to reach out to someone. 
  1. Your network – One of the most powerful ways to find your own internship is by networking
    • Your network at Harvard includes Faculty, TFs, Proctors, Tutors, Resident Deans, House staff, PAFs, Peers, Student Group Leaders, Family Friends. Reach out to them and see if they know of any organizations, programs, or employers that interest you. 

Resources to Expand your Network: 

  1. Firsthand Advisors 
    • Firsthand Advisors is a platform where you can search for and connect with alumni. If an alum is on Firsthand, it means they’re open to being contacted by current students. You can see someone’s profile, what days/times they’re available, and connect with them virtually.  
  1. Harvard Alumni Directory 
    • The Harvard Alumni Directory is maintained by the Harvard Alumni Association.  Through this platform, you can message any Harvard alum.  Use the search function to find alums in certain industries and/or locations.   
  1. LinkedIn (Harvard University Alumni group) 
    • LinkedIn is a powerful networking tool.  As a Harvard student, you can join the Harvard University Alumni Group in LinkedIn, which is maintained by the Harvard Alumni Association.  Once you join, you will be able to search for alums by sector, industry, and/or location.  Looking for an internship in architecture in Spain?  Search this group to find Harvard alumni working in architecture and living in Spain.   
  1. Harvard College Guide to Making Connections 
    • Use the Harvard College Guide to Making Connections as a primer on how to network well. 

More internship resources:

Resources for your summer search:

By Kristen Li
Kristen Li Summer Opportunities Funding Coordinator