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How likely is it I will get an internship as a first year student?

I am a first year, undeclared student and I am looking for internship opportunities for the summer. I live in an area where there are many opportunities for internships but that means many students travel to the area in order to apply. I a specifically looking for internship opportunities in nonprofit and advocacy groups. I assumed I would be able to get an internship but after talking to some students slightly older than I am I learned that companies tend not to hire students unless they are juniors or seniors in college. #internships #nonprofits #freshmen #advocacy

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yoonji’s Answer

Hey Allaire,

Great question! Like Nicholas said, anything is possible!

I noticed that you live in MD. I used to live and work in DC. You are lucky to live in an area that is teeming with amazing internship opportunities in every field imaginable.

I suggest you continue networking and also take some time to think about what careers or industries you are interested in. Talk with other students, counselors, professors, alumni of your university, your parent's friends, really anyone! Informational interviews give you a quick snapshot of how this person got into their field and what their job or day is like. Listen to podcasts that follow industries you are interested in. (Like national security? Check out Intelligence Matters. Like tech/startups? Check out Masters of Scale. Do your research. There are so many cool podcasts!

Make a list and look for internships in those fields. You are at a great point in your college career to explore different fields. Apply for anything interesting. Even if you realize later on in the internship that this isn't a career you want to do in the future, at least you learned this valuable lesson early on and can move onto the next career interest!

Learn what sites the folks in your network are using to look for internships. Some popular ones are Idealist for #nonprofits, USAJobs for #government internships, AngelList for #tech or #startup jobs. Since you live in the DMV, I HIGHLY suggest Weekbook by Linktank (; they have internship opportunities and a lot of free seminars and networking events.

Good luck!

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Nicholas’s Answer

Anything is possible. Networking is very important. You can always find small opportunities with small companies that would allow you to work for them in some capacity. It never hurts to apply for something as well. Look around for companies in your area. You can also look for organizations that might have openings. Being that you are undeclared, however, it might makes things challenging for you to determine where you would like to look and it might also make it a little difficult for internship coordinator at your school to find something for you. I suggested talking to your coordinator at your school and ask them about your options as well as looking in areas that you are interested in working in.