From frustration to elation: Your summer internship hunt

Xiaoxia Yin, Opinions Writer

Now that it’s April, the deadline for summer internships for many companies is nearing. For those who intend to find work as a summer intern but have not yet gotten the ideal offer, don’t worry. There are a lot of companies accepting internship applications up until May. Often, these companies release their offers right before June. Though students finding internships in different industries might face different situations, here are some general tips to boost your chances of success in your internship hunt.

Department resources and LexLink

Departments that require or recommend students to participate in summer internships usually advertise internship opportunities by putting posters on the boards inside their building or sending emails to students. Do not ignore these. Usually, those that are posted by academic departments are the programs endorsed by the department and may have Washington and Lee alumni working there. Similarly, job opportunities posted on LexLink may be offered by alumni or someone looking to specifically hire students from Washington and Lee. Keep an eye on those opportunities and do not let them go.


The power of the Generals’ network is one of the best parts of the university. Most Washington and Lee alumni are helpful and willing to assist students in finding summer internships. The Career Development Center’s site, “Colonnade Connections,” is a good resource and allows you to search whether or not the company you are applying to has any alumni working there. Take advantage of that, and make an effort to email alums professionally and politely to learn from their experiences and to seek advice.

Peers who interned last summer

Peers are also a great resource that should not be overlooked when preparing for summer internships. Many programs, especially those endorsed by academic departments or LexLink, have hired students in the past. Those students are valuable resources and can often share advice for applying to, and working at, the company. Just like alums, most students are willing to share their previous experiences and successes with fellow students. So, do not hesitate to reach out to them to see if they are willing to share their thoughts.

International students

Finding summer internships in the U.S. is more challenging for international students who are not permanent residents in the U.S. (often due to issues with visas.) Some companies even specifically advertise that they only hire U.S. citizens and permanent residents. Luckily, there are still many companies that are accepting international students for both summer internships and full-time positions. Usually, international companies or companies that have global networks are more welcoming to international students. In addition, international companies that have offices in the U.S. are often good choices.

With two months left until summer, there is still time to lock in a summer internship. Good luck to those still searching, and congratulations to those who already have secured their ideal internship.