Finding Internships

i am a 3rd year industrial design student, and i want to get an internship during summer.
i was wondering how everyone found their internships in the past. do you get them through just personal connections or is there another way?

I received an internship through a personal connection of mine and I’m sure it helps other people as well. I also believe that most internships are earned by people in the same fashion as looking for a real job, with a sweet portfolio, resume and nice personal presentation.

Of course if you know the exact person to send to, it will be a lot easier.

I got my first through a friend’s friend. I simply got a name and address, sent my stuffs and they called me.

Second one was kinda lucky. A classmate gave the list he tried a year before and so I sent my stuffs to every of them. Eventually, one went through which was where I landed up at. It was lucky because the person I sent to no longer workes there, and they somehow knew it was an application package and forwarded it to the right person.

The third was through a portfolio critique. When you have the opportunity to meet and present your portfolio, even if it’s only 5 min, it’s enough to leave an impression if you know what you are doing.

I have tried to simply send my stuffs to the company’s “career coordinater” but don’t hear back from most of them. Some went through, but replied saying that they’ve already found a person.

I am sure you can dig out some contact from your instructors or friends. If not, look up the IDSA member list ( or which ever organization that represents your profession). It’s not the “relationship” that will get you the job. It’s your portfolio. So the important thing here is to get your portfolio onto the right hands.

Actually, be thick skinned. IDSA’s publication “Design Perspective” always has info of new and return members. In its employment section, there are info of companies. Yes they aren’t posting for interns, but that is still a contact info. Just send them your portfolio and you never know what you will get in return. Also, start making the contact early next semester. It can be a long process. If you are lucky and find one immediately, good for you, cus then you won’t have to worry about it for the rest of your semester and can concentrate on your school work.

Good luck!

I realize that I am commenting on an old and most likely dead thread. But I believe that internships are so crucial in the learning process that this question deserves more than 2 replies. I am starting my freshman year (ID) in two days, and the question of how to obtain an internship has been on my mind.

Also, I was wondering when most people started to look for their internships. I feel it would be a little useless for me to get one after my freshman year seeing as how I won’t have much ID experiance.

If anyone else has info on how to go about obtaining an internship, or success/failure stories when trying to obtain one, I would appreciate it.

And if anyone wants a good book to read about job hunting career advice, etc. check out the 2006 What color is your parachute? I think this info can also apply to internships