Securing an internship is an extensive process with many facets, but always worth it in the end. The good news is that you don’t have to navigate this process on your own. The four methods of finding an internship are outlined below. Be sure to diversify your search among these four methods, and apply for multiple internship opportunities to ensure that you ultimately end up with an internship that you enjoy. Having many internship offers is ideal and allows you to pick your top choice. 

Four Ways to Identify and Secure an Internship

  1. Search for postings: Use Grinnell-specific and general online internship databases to find organizations that are offering internships.
  2. Network: Send your current résumé to family members, friends’ family members, faculty members, coaches, previous supervisors, and other contacts to spread the word that you are searching for an internship, whether in a specific professional field or in a new field, if you are open to exploring and growing your skills. Also, expand your network by attending campus events with visiting alumni and employers to inquire about internship opportunities.
  3. Contact organizations directly: Visit organizations’ websites to determine if established internship programs exist. You can find names of organizations by using the Pioneer Internship Database in PioneerWeb or the Chamber of Commerce membership lists in your preferred geographic areas. If no internship information is available on an organization’s website, call the organization directly to inquire about possible internship opportunities.
  4. Create your own internship: Contact an organization where you have previously worked or volunteered to ask about transitioning your past experience into an internship by adding additional responsibilities that use your newly gained academic knowledge.

For additional internship tips and to access a checklist of action items that will help convert this internship search process into manageable steps, refer to the CLS Internship Tip Sheet.

Grinnell-Specific Resources

PioneerLink: Access hundreds of internship opportunities specifically targeted for Grinnell and other liberal arts students. You will need to log in to PioneerLink to search for internship opportunities.

Liberal Arts Career Network (LACN): Access hundreds of internships posted by the 30+ LACN member colleges. Gain access from within your PioneerLink account by using the "Jump to LACN" button.

Nationwide Internship Consortium (NIC): From LACN, you can jump to NIC, an internship database with over 7,000 postings. Gain access from within your PioneerLink account by using the "Jump to NIC" button.

Pioneer Internship Database: View 1,000+ internships by former and current Grinnell students in over 50 countries and 40+ states since 2000. Gain access by logging into PioneerWeb, clicking on the Community tab, and clicking on "Pioneer Internship Database" under Resources.

Opportunities in Public Affairs (OPA): Provides postings for Capitol Hill, Legislative, Public Affairs, and Public Relations (PR) positions in the Washington, DC area. You will need to provide a username and password to log in. Contact the CLS at 641-269-4940 to request the username and password or you can view them on the announcements of your PioneerLink account.

CEI Internships (formally Internships-USA): Includes hundreds of great internship opportunities listed by U.S. state in 14 categories including Internships with Community and Social Service Agencies, at America's Top Companies, in Washington DC, in the fields of International Affairs, Law and Policy, Advertising, Media, Sports, Women's Rights, Environmental/Green industries, Congress/U.S. Government, Human Rights, History, and Museums. Click on "Internships for Undergraduates" on the right side of the screen. You will need to provide a username and password to log in. Contact the CLS at 641-269-4940 to request the username and password or you can view them on the announcements of your PioneerLink account.  

Vault Career Insider: Includes an internship database and is a great resource when you want to conduct research on specific companies/organizations or career industries. Log into your PioneerLink account and click on the Vault Career Insider link.

Online Search Resources

Internet Search Engines

  1. For example: or
  2. Type in a simple phrase such as "History Internship in Washington, DC"

Websites of Professional Organizations for a Career Field

For example: Association of Electrical Engineers (AEE) or the (APA) - go to:

Federal Government Internships

Chambers of Commerce

  1. Use or another search engine
  2. Type in “Chamber of Commerce” for your area of choice. For example: “Chamber of Commerce for Chicago, IL”
  3. Follow the link and look for the online member directory.
  4. Some Chambers will list members by categories such as accountants, engineering, etc.
  5. From there, follow the links to specific organization websites

Business Journal for Your Region

  1. Use or another search engine
  2. Type in “Business Journal” ‐ for example: “Business Journal for Minneapolis, Minnesota”
  3. Follow the link and research the site
  4. Look for the Business Journal’s “TopList” or “Book of Lists” Online

Phone Book

  • Yellow Pages – many non‐profit organizations are listed under the “Association” section
  • Blue Pages – human service agencies, local, state, and federal government agencies are listed here
  • When you go to an organization link, look for the sections titled Careers, Human Resources, or Contacts. Some organizations will list internships in their own section. provides listings of hundreds of internships with a breakdown of paid and unpaid internships by industry.

Internships - The Riley Guide is an online directory of employment and career information sources and services. It is primarily intended to provide instruction for internship/job seekers on how to use the Internet to their best advantage. lists internships in the U.S. and internationally. This is a valuable resource to find internships at nonprofits or NGOs. lists internships in the U.S. and internationally.

One Day One has national internship postings as well as a blog featuring a new internship each day. is a national collection of regional job and internship websites. provides listings of thousands of internships. provides information regarding specific companies/organizations as well as great articles about relevant career topics.

Additional industry-specific electronic resources are located on the employment section in the Resources tab of the CLS website.


International Search Resources

Going Global has internships in more than 30 countries and over 50 U.S. metropolitan areas. Gain access through logging into your PioneerLink account. lists international internships and is a valuable resource to find internships at nonprofits or NGOs. lists international internships in various fields.

Transitions Abroad: International Internships is a comprehensive resource for work, study, travel, living, and volunteering abroad.

Cross Cultural Solutions offers volunteer abroad programs that allow you to see the world while doing good.

Print Search Resources

CLS offers books with information about finding internships, as well as books listing traditional internships offered every year with specific organizations.

Booklets with Grinnellians’ Final Learning Summaries from their previous internship experiences are also available at the CLS. You are welcome to visit the CLS to review past internship experiences.

Networking Search Resources

Use these resources to network with Grinnell College alumni or other professionals in specific industries regarding internship opportunities:

LinkedIn is a professional networking site. Create a profile and join the group "Grinnell College Alumni" and start building professional relationships with alumni.

The Forum is the Grinnell College Alumni online community. Gain access to the directory, click on the main Alumni tab on the Grinnell College homepage, and then click on the Directory button on the right-hand side of the page. You will need to create an account if you do not already have one.