The summer before senior year is exactly the time to have a plum internship, as many companies are now looking to take their new hires from the batch of wannabes who come to be interns the summer before they graduate. The competition for these positions is bound to be intense, but there are certain things that you can do to increase your chances of landing the internship.
Take a look at the interviews with students about their internships; they’ll give you a sense of what you can expect. I’d also get some alumni names from your career office and do some fast information interviewing about what kinds of internships lead to what kinds of entry-level jobs.
Use social networking websites such as LinkedIn.com and join professional groups to communicate with professionals with similar career interests.
The library will have lots of formal lists of internships, but you should just assume that every organization is a potential intern sponsor, so don’t be limited by what’s in the books. Particularly if you can afford to do an unpaid internship (and most creative ones are unpaid) by having an evening and weekend job to make ends meet, then you can brazenly offer to come and work free for somebody. Do it with style and you’ll be surprised how fast they’ll take you.
The “style” part is key — be sure you check your resumes and cover letters (and remember to customize each one — no one-size-fits-all allowed), and do some role playing/practicing for the interviews. Finding an internship requires some research and planning. Getting an internship doesn’t have to be a stressful experience.