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How to Land Your Next Internship

Whether it is your first time looking for an internship or your third, it can be a really intimidating process. Here are some tips to help you on your search this year!

Where to Start Looking?

Business Horizons

Business Horizons is a career fair offered through the Pamplin College of Business in both the spring and the fall semesters. You can attend the event virtually or in person and speak with over 150 companies offering internships to students in a variety of different majors. Some companies that typically attend include Altria, Ernest Young, ALKU, and PWC.


Handshake is an online platform that allows for students to search for internships that fit their interests and talk with recruiters. Additionally, recruiters can reach out to users if they feel they would make a good fit for a position. You can filter positions based on interest, location, and years of school or experience when looking for internships that will best fit you.

Reach Out to Alumni

Hokies want to help Hokies. They know the program you went through and what you value as a student, so don’t be afraid to reach out to alumni and ask about their experiences and what they did to get to those companies that you hope to work for one day.

Pamplin Career Services

The Pamplin Career Services office works with students to help with professional development and navigating finding a job or internship. They offer 30 minute appointments for students to ask career and job-related questions one on one with a professional. They provide tips on networking, types of opportunities, interviews, and much more!

The Application Process

Have Someone Review Your Resume

Pamplin Career Services along with the Smith Career Center offer resume reviews throughout the year. Even if you think your resume is perfect, it can’t hurt to have a professional look over it and determine if rewording something could make it sound more effective or if you should include more information about a certain work experience.

Update your LinkedIn or Handshake

Recruiters will often reach out via online platforms like LinkedIn and Handshake, so ensure that you regularly update these platforms to include any promotions, new skills, or any updates in your professional experience.

Following up with Recruiters

Be Professional

There are a number of ways that you can be professional when communicating with recruiters. First and foremost, when communicating via email, ensure that you introduce yourself, write clearly and concisely, and include a signature. Additionally, be sure to include a subject line and be polite.

Be Timely

Ensure that you communicate with recruiters in a timely manner. When school work piles up, it can be easy to push off responding to emails, but this is crucial and can make you stand out from other applicants.

Interview Tips

Research the Company

In order to be best prepared for your interview, you should not only know about and understand the role that you are applying for but also the company that you want to work for. What is their mission statement and what do they value?

Dress to Impress

Even if your interview is on Zoom, dress to impress! Business professional dress should be worn, even if your interview is not in person.

Talk About Different Experiences

As fellow Pamplin students, you’ve probably been involved in a lot of different things around campus whether it’s past work experience, extracurriculars, group projects, or another activity, a lot of different experiences have shaped who you are. Don’t just talk about one during your interview! Try to pull from a number of different experiences you’ve had to give a more holistic impression of yourself.

Ask Questions

Recruiters are trying to find if you’re the right fit for their internship program, but you should also be determining if the internship is the right fit for you. Ask questions about what you would be doing as an intern, what the company culture is like, and anything else you think will have an impact on your experience there.

What To Do After Getting an Offer


Reach out to people who have worked there and ask what their experience was like. Ask them what daily life was like as an intern, if they felt prepared going into the internship, and what they learned while working there. It is important to find an internship that is going to help you learn and grow, and the best way to determine if an internship program is the right fit for you is to ask recruiters and former interns questions to better understand what tasks you will be working on.

Don’t Settle

It can be really tempting to take the first offer you get when searching for internships.

Accept or reject - Based on your research and what you think will work best for you, accept the internship that you think best fits you and kindly decline other offers.

The internship process can be very overwhelming. We hope these tips can help ease the process for you!

By Katie Smith

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