Ask the intern: What do I do if I haven’t started applying for summer internship opportunities yet?

Hi Sugar, my name is Madison and I go to the University of Sheffield in the UK. I study Economics and I find it really interesting, but I have no idea what I want to pursue for a career. Because of this, I keep putting off applying for summer internships and now I’m starting to panic. I know how important it is to have professional experience as well as a good degree. I’m worried that I’ve missed my chance to get an internship because I can’t make a decision. Could you please give me some guidance on what to do if you haven’t started applying for summer internship opportunities yet? I want to give myself the best chance of getting valuable experience this summer -Madison.


Hi Madison, thanks for getting in touch. My first piece of advice would be: don’t panic! Worrying about not having a summer internship lined up is actually counterproductive. Although summer is just around the corner, it’s not the end of the world. Below I have compiled my top tips for procrastinators who haven’t started applying for summer internships yet.

1. Have an open mind about your career field and role

A common reason people struggle to land a summer internship is that they’re incredibly picky about what they want to do. Some people have very niche career areas that they want experience in. Others are even more specific and have exact companies that they want to be able to put on their CV or resume. By limiting yourself in these ways, it becomes more and more unlikely that you’ll get an internship at all. Although it’s ok to have clear aims and desires for your internship, flexibility is key. Especially at the last minute! Sometimes you don’t realize what could be really beneficial to your career.

You are the opposite of this. You’re so open that you can’t pick one thing to apply for. This is also limiting as you end up applying for zero positions. My advice for you would be to do some research that could help you decide. Think about careers related to your degree, skill set and interests. Also look for internships that require candidates like you, as you’ll be more likely to be successful in your application. Once you have a rough idea, you can start applying.

Also, remember that you don’t have to stick to this one internship or even career field forever! Work experience is a great way to find out what you do and don’t want in your future career. Think of it like trial and error.

summer internship opportunities

2. Be flexible about your destination

Flexibility is also key when deciding where to intern. By considering internships globally, you have already opened up your options. As with career fields, some people have their heart set on specific destinations. I would always recommend listening to the advice of our global Admissions Officers. They are experts in international internships and know exactly which destination is strongest in each field. However, if you’re applying late, then these destinations might be full as our program is extremely competitive. But this doesn’t mean that excellent opportunities aren’t available elsewhere. It’s all about being open to all of the available opportunities.

3. Ensure that your application is up to scratch

When you feel like you’re under time pressure, it can be tempting to scramble for any opportunities and rush your applications. This isn’t the way to go. If you rush your application, you leave yourself open to making mistakes that could cost you an internship. Make sure that your resume or CV presents you in the best light, is up to date and free of grammar and spelling mistakes.

4. If you can’t find a summer internship, don’t despair

If you are unable to find a summer internship, it isn’t the be all and end all! You can still use your summer to boost your employability in other ways. Voluntary work looks excellent on a CV or resume, especially if it’s related to your career field. A summer job also shows that you have a good work ethic and can build many skills that you’ll use later in your career. These things will also improve your candidacy for internships in the future.

Many universities also allow you to intern for credit as part of your degree. This gives you some time to apply for internships later in the year. It’s also never too soon to apply for summer 2018 internships. The Intern Group is extremely competitive and an early application gives you more chance of getting your dream internship.

summer internship opportunities

Now you know what to do if you haven’t already applied for summer internship opportunities, apply today to launch your career abroad.



1. based on clock, by David Lofink Photo, CC-by-SA 2.0

2. based on Beautiful Majestic Sunset, by Public Domain Photography, CC-by-SA 2.0

3. based on Life at CurrencyFair,by CurrencyFair, CC-by-SA 2.0


The International Internships Blog is a collaboration by The Intern Group staff, alumni and current participants to give you career advice & tips, program information, & so much more!

To learn how to apply to our internship programs, click here.


Sugar Thomas

Sugar studies at the University of Leeds in the UK and is currently on her year abroad in Latin America. She studied in Malaga, Spain before joining the business development team at The Intern Group in January. She hopes to make the most of her time in Latin America, traveling the continent and experiencing the culture before completing her final year of university.
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