Grace Kutney

Author: Grace Kutney

Preparing for Internships in Business: Setting the Stage for Success

Internships are like the dress rehearsals for your future career in the business world. They provide invaluable hands-on experience, help you bridge the gap between theory and practice, and open doors to exciting opportunities. But, securing a meaningful internship requires careful preparation and strategic planning. As you prepare for internships in business, here are some essential steps to help you set the stage for success.

1. Self-Reflection and Goal Setting

Before diving into the internship application process, take some time for self-reflection. What are your career goals? What specific skills or experiences do you hope to gain from this internship? By clarifying your objectives, you’ll be better equipped to identify the right opportunities and tailor your application materials accordingly.

2. Resume Enhancement

Your resume is often the first impression you make on potential employers. Ensure it showcases your relevant skills, experiences, and accomplishments. Highlight coursework, extracurricular activities, and any relevant projects or volunteer work. If you lack direct business experience, emphasize transferable skills such as teamwork, leadership, and problem-solving. Consider using our resume AI tool, VMock to receive personalized feedback and make your resume stand out. Advisors and Career Peer Educators are also available to review your resumes.

3. Networking

Building a strong professional network can significantly enhance your internship prospects. Attend employer info sessions (even the virtual ones!), alumni events, and networking sessions. Connect with alumni and other professionals on LinkedIn and don’t be afraid to reach out for informational interviews. Personal connections can provide valuable insights and referrals.

4. Research Internship Opportunities

Start your search for internships early. Look for opportunities on Handshake, company websites, job boards, and industry-specific platforms. Pay attention to application deadlines and requirements. Don’t limit yourself to the most well-known companies; smaller firms and startups can offer equally rewarding experiences.

5. Interview Preparation

When you secure an interview, be ready to impress. Long before even being invited for an interview, start practicing common interview questions and prepare thoughtful answers that illustrate your qualifications. You can utilize Big Interview to prepare for interviews and build your confidence. When you do have an interview scheduled, research the company thoroughly, including its culture, recent news, and industry trends. Prepare questions to ask the interviewer to show your genuine interest.

6. Professional Attire

Dress appropriately for interviews and networking events. Business attire may vary by industry, but it’s generally better to be slightly overdressed than underdressed. Ensure your appearance is clean, neat, and professional.

7. Follow-Up

After interviews or networking events, send personalized thank-you notes or emails to express your appreciation for the opportunity to connect. This gesture demonstrates your professionalism and genuine interest in the role.

8. Internship Skill Building

While you await internship offers, continue developing your skills. Consider online courses or workshops to gain specific knowledge relevant to your field of interest. Building your skill set not only makes you a more attractive candidate but also boosts your confidence. Consider completing an internship project simulation through Forage.

9. Stay Persistent

The internship search can be competitive, and rejection is a part of the process. Don’t be discouraged by setbacks. Instead, use them as opportunities for growth and learning. Stay persistent in your efforts and keep refining your approach.

10. Seek Guidance from a Career Advisor

Don’t hesitate to make an appointment with me, or any of the career advisors at the Career Center. We can provide personalized guidance, review your resume, conduct mock interviews, and offer insights to enhance your internship search. We’re here for you – now, during internships, throughout your time at Lawrence, and after graduation.

Preparing for internships in business requires a combination of self-reflection, skill development, networking, and meticulous planning. By taking these steps, you’ll increase your chances of securing a meaningful internship that will pave the way for a successful career in the business world. Remember, internships are not just about gaining experience; they’re about discovering your passion and potential. So, seize the opportunity, and set the stage for your future success.

VPA Gap Year Opportunities


Actors Theatre – Louisville
     Approximate Deadline: February 28
American Stage Apprenticeship Programs
     Approximate Deadline: April 30
Arden Theatre Professional Apprentice
     Approximate Deadline: May 1
Barter Theater Apprenticeships and Internships
     Approximate Deadline:
Berkeley Repertory Theatre’s Fellowship Program
     Approximate Deadline: March 10
CENTERSTAGE’s Professional Internship Program
     Approximate Deadline: Rolling, and selection process begins in early March
Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati
     Approximate Deadline: January 28
Acting Apprenticeship at Kingsman Shakespeare
     Approximate Deadline: January
Smithsonian Fellowships (several opportunities)
     Approximate Deadline: Various
Steppenwolf Theatre Apprenticeships and Fellowships
     Approximate Deadline: March 18

Résumé Phrase Ideas for Common Campus Jobs

Campus jobs and student organization leadership positions are rich with valuable transferable skills. These experiences can be captured on your resume and described during interviews. For inspiration, here are a few examples clustered by job type.

Admissions Office Student Worker

  • Represented university to campus visitors, including prospective students, parents, alumni and community members
  • Answered questions about ____ College and local community
  • Wrote original content for Admissions Blog, read by prospective students and parents
  • Helped set up for special visit days and Admissions events
  • Entered data into Banner database, maintaining accuracy and strict confidentiality
  • Answered phones and called prospective students
  • Participated in regular staff meetings
  • Offered suggestions for improving campus tour procedure, all of which were adopted
  • Consistently recognized by visitors for providing engaging and interesting campus tours
  • Trained new student workers, both on the job and during week-long training
  • Provided front desk coverage as needed
  • Performed variety of administrative tasks, including filing, photocopying, faxing, checking and sending emails, preparing mass mailings, etc.

Food Service Worker/Catering Staff

  • Worked professionally with diverse range of patrons, including faculty, donors, board members, alumni, students and general public
  • One of only 2 student workers requested by name to cater high-stakes donor events
  • Communicated regularly with supervisors and co-workers to ensure timely and efficient set-up of large-scale events
  • Conducted regular detailed inventory of stock to ensure accurate documentation for purchasing manager
  • Assisted in training new staff; edited and updated training manual to include time-saving tips
  • Promoted twice within same academic year
  • Managed customer complaints professionally and promptly
  • Organized and cleaned work station regularly to ensure safe, efficient work environment
  • Assisted in other workstations as needed; floated between stations whenever necessary
  • Adapted easily to new equipment and procedures; assisted other staff in making transition
  • Collaborated with supervisors and co-workers to resolve staffing coverage concerns

Greek Life

  • Oversaw and executed recruitment process; created public relations plan for the year and successfully increase recruitment quota from ___ to ____
  • Collaborated with membership chairs of other sororities to coordinate recruitment process
  • Oversaw $_____ budget; coordinated with President in allocating funds responsibly throughout academic year
  • Spearheaded university’s first Leadership Speaker Series; enlisted help of alumni and local professionals to share their leadership expertise
  • Organized several philanthropic events, both on campus and in community, successfully raising over $____ for local charities
  • Commissioned to design logo for InterFraternity Council’s stop smoking initiative
  • Used Java and MySQL to develop a voting system to enable members to anonymously vote on fraternity business
  • Re-designed fraternity’s website using PHP and Flash resulting in __% increase in web traffic
  • Participated in diversity and cultural sensitivity training
  • Served as member of chapter’s Honor Board
  • Ensured that all standing rules and bylaws, as well as national rules, were adhered to consistently

Library Student Worker

  • Answered patron questions, referred them to appropriate resources
  • Communicated regularly with supervisor and co-workers to ensure efficient transition between shifts
  • Trained new student staff to on library procedures and on how to use electronic databases
  • Offered suggestion for creating Discord group for library workers, helping to encourage community-building
  • Helped craft solution for scheduling conflicts among student staff
  • Acted as first point of contact for community members, including toddlers, teens, business people and retirees
  • Sorted and re-shelved books and media
  • Processed faculty and graduate student requests for interlibrary loans
  • Labeled, stamped and sorted hundreds of books with 100% accuracy

Resident Assistant/Community Advisor

  • Designed and delivered wide range of programming options for residents, resulting in 5% increase in student participation over previous year
  • Participated in extensive safety training and on-going professional development
  • Acted as mediator for residents and helped identify practical solutions for disagreements
  • Maintained professionalism during emergency situations, being careful to implement standard protocols
  • Referred students to appropriate on-campus and off-campus resources as needed
  • Collaborated regularly with fellow RAs to ensure safe, respectful, fun, inclusive living environment
  • Processed and recorded all requests for maintenance repairs or custodial needs
  • Communicated with administrators, staff, faculty and community members in person, by phone, and through written correspondence
  • Recognized as approachable and energetic by residents, peers, staff, and administrators
  • Oversaw logistics for various programs, including securing venues, ordering food, coordinating schedules, and implementing marketing strategies
  • Organized collaborative hall events to raise awareness about sustainability efforts
  • Assisted with move-in day activities; welcomed freshmen and their families
  • Respond promptly and professionally to all resident concerns

Student Organization President

  • Led monthly all-group meetings, and bi-weekly leadership meetings
  • Instituted new marketing plan to overhaul recruitment practices resulting in 45% increase in membership
  • Assisted in developing strategic plan which included, ______, ______, and ______
  • During two year tenure, increased member participation in ____ by ____%
  • Mediated member disagreements, particularly related to allocation of funds
  • Represented group on various campus-wide committees to advocate for ______ issues
  • Communicated regularly with other student organizations, administrative offices, faculty and community members
  • Recognized as an approachable, fair, professional leader
  • Coordinated logistics for annual student conference in _________
  • Acted as emcee for ____ fundraiser which raised over $____ for ______
  • Generated discussion topics for weekly brown bag lunch series
  • Identified and secured speakers for _______ event
  • Revitalized group’s social media presence, including the addition of Instagram and TikTok, leading to 126% improved member involvement


  • Explained complex mathematical concepts in easy-to-understand terms to high school students
  • Spoke with parents in person and by phone to provide progress updates and to answer questions or concerns regarding their child’s learning
  • Offered test-taking and exam preparation strategies to freshmen and sophomore French majors
  • Organized weekly lesson plans for 8 music students
  • Coordinated tutoring schedules for 2 college students and 4 high school students
  • Facilitated workshops on “Time Management for College Students”
  • Provided one-on-one tutoring for college students with different learning abilities, including a student diagnosed with dyslexia, and another diagnosed with Asperger syndrome
  • Worked with students on analytical reasoning
  • Helped students identify problems in their writing, such as circular or faulty reasoning

Résumé Phrase Ideas for Different Majors

As part of your coursework in any major, you’ll experience a wide range of classes where you’ll use different techniques, study and apply various theories, use different instrumentation, and investigate multiple topics. These course-related experiences can be captured on your resume. For inspiration, here are a few examples, clustered by major (list includes non-Lawrence majors).

Anthropology Majors

  • Used variety of survey design methods including _________, __________, _________, and __________
  • Coded interview transcripts and field notes
  • Led class discussion on use of religion and myth within Ukrainian immigrant communities
  • Participated in ____ hours of field observation at after-school program
  • Conducted participant observation as part of ethnography project
  • Identified artifacts, features and sites from prehistoric through historic eras at ___________
  • Maintained thorough, accurate field notes
  • Analyzed data sets using SPSS and MS Excel
  • Investigated relationship between language and culture in establishment of social status among adolescent Filipino-Canadians
  • Identified traumatic, pathological and occupational markers on skeletons using fundamental forensic anthropology methods, including ______________

Art Majors

  • Created ___ x ___ painting using _____ techniques
  • Worked with various media, including metal, paper, ink, and ceramic
  • Familiar with various techniques, including lithography, print making, digital imaging and sculpture
  • Studied _____ art with an emphasis on the works of ___________
  • Created complex designs
  • Worked closely with art director to develop storyboards for _____
  • Designed a CD cover from concept for ________
  • Coordinated exhibition displays for 70 pieces for _________
  • Catalogued and wrote descriptions for 250+ piece collection
  • Collaborated with team of 4 students to set up and take down large-scale public display by _________
  • “________” on canvas selected for display at ________
  • Utilized ______ to create graphics and design layout for _________

Biology Majors

  • Designed several experiments, including _______, _______, ________ and _______
  • Perform a variety of molecular and cellular biology techniques, including restriction digestion, polymerase chain reaction (PCR), western blot, and immunostaining
  • Led class discussion on unique physical and biological properties and dynamics of marine ecosystems
  • Analyzed experimental data; maintained detailed lab notebook
  • Performed hormonal analyses on variety of species using enzyme immunoassays (EIA’s)
  • Studied principles of epidemiology and public health in role of microorganisms in infectious disease prevention and transmission
  • Identified artifacts, features and sites from prehistoric through historic eras at ___________
  • Utilize online tools to manipulate nucleic acids and proteins
  • Report findings in a concise, scientific writing format including proper citations and figures
  • Applied basic bioengineering principles to fermentation and downstream bioprocessing
  • Used NMR spectroscopy and mass spectrometry to analyze tissue samples

Criminal Justice/Law Majors

  • Examined the roles of police, prosecution, courts and corrections in administration of justice in United States
  • Reviewed security problems affecting commercial businesses, such as burglary, robbery, shoplifting, check fraud, credit card fraud, safe selection, counterfeiting
  • Researched sociological aspects of police/community relations, with focus on police relations with minority groups and positive police/citizen partnerships
  • Studied fundamentals of criminal investigation, including searching and recording information at crime scene, handling physical evidence, scientific aids in crime detection, a criminal’s modus operandi and criminal informants
  • Wrote mock-up law enforcement reports using state standards
  • Participated in regular in-class role plays to practice effective conflict resolution communication skills
  • Reviewed traffic laws, deposit-bond schedules, traffic stop procedures, citations, tactical awareness, accident investigations and reports, and traffic control
  • Learn how to prepare for and testify in court of law

Environmental Studies Majors

  • Studied influence corporations and environmental lobbying groups have on development of laws and policies
  • As part of 3-person team, conducted extensive study of soil erosion in downtown ____ as a result of ABC Corp.’s 2008 building renovations, resulting in 45-min presentation
  • Familiar with ecological modeling, including use of computer simulations, for understanding ecological resource management
  • Participated in field research to understand ecological relationships and biodiversity around Mt. _______
  • Spent 3 weeks gathering data at ____ Water Treatment Facility as part of feasibility study to determine cost-effectiveness of building new treatment facility in Town of _____
  • Lead class discussions on _______
  • Examined hydrologic cycle; used analytical procedures to evaluate evapotranspiration, precipitation, infiltration, and streamflow
  • Wrote proposal and 10-page report on sustainable specifications for the _____ Building in downtown _____, with LEED Gold rating as goal
  • Investigated relationship between geology and health, in particular, reviewed published research on effect of water contamination on children’s IQ in India and Mexico
  • Learned fundamental concepts of evolutionary biology, including ________

Economics Majors

  • Used economic theories to study the free trade debate, market responses to environmental damage, earnings inequality, and antitrust legislation
  • Familiar with statistical methods: sampling distributions, conditional probability, descriptive statistics and graphs, random variables and their distributions, independence, the Central Limit Theorem, parametric and nonparametric tests of hypotheses, and multiple regression
  • Collected and analyzed data using ______ techniques
  • Designed research project on ________ culminating in ___ page paper and ___ minute presentation
  • Monitored fluctuations of the ________ to study impact on stock prices
  • Collaborated with _____ students to lead class discussions on _______
  • Used MS Excel and Minitab to _____________
  • Explored the relationship between China’s ________ and Japan’s ____________
  • Applied calculus models and concepts such as partial derivatives, exponential and logarithmic functions, and differential equations to ___________________
  • Utilized various primary and secondary sources
  • Maintained general ledger and reconciled discrepancies, wrote budget proposals, maintained budget and gave annual report as Treasurer of __________

English Majors

  • Compared and contrasted _________ with _________ resulting in 8-page paper and 10 minute class presentation
  • Conducted extensive literature review of academic essays about William Blake
  • Utilized Lexis-Nexus, EBSCO Host, Jstor and other electronic databases
  • Wrote extensively on topic of female concepts of power in 18th century France
  • Conducted close readings of texts
  • Examined “war writings” of 19th century Russia
  • Explored impact of poverty on expressions of faith in poetry of 17th century Europe; contrasted findings with translations of 17th century Chinese poetry
  • Led class discussion on the use of irony in Kurt Vonnegut’s Galapagos
  • Organized meeting times among 4 fellow students for group project

Finance Majors

  • Analyzed company’s financial needs and developed short and long term plans with 4 group members for case study
  • Explored conceptual relationship between expected return and relevant risk of individual assets and portfolios of assets
  • Familiar with basic time value methodology to general valuation and integrated cash flow applications
  • Developed and analyzed clients’ financial statements (balance sheet, profit and loss) for various case studies; presented analysis and approach to class
  • Assessed clients’ financial goals and utilized portfolio allocation models to create (mock) investment portfolios
  • Monitored fluctuations of the ________ to study impact on stock pricing
  • Used MS Excel and Minitab to _____________
  • Developed business plan which was selected by local non-profit organization out of 17 submissions, as part of Innovations class
  • Performed statistical analysis of financial data of 20 HMOs in order to __________
  • Examined economic stability of four Southeast Asian countries and posited two approaches for investors interested in this geographic area
  • Familiar with how to calculate a bond’s periodic interest payment and market value when market rates are different than coupon rate
  • Explain capital budgeting, identify the costs and returns of capital budgeting projects, to fellow students as Classroom Assistant/Finance Tutor

Government or Political Science Majors

  • Analyzed and compiled reports on the proposed European Union Constitution and various political speeches to better understand _____________
  • Analyzed United Nations voting records to explore the alliances between countries
  • Acquired knowledge of the lobbying process as part of ____________
  • Researched and wrote a policy paper on Reforming International Institutions
  • Explored the impact of the ________ Act by ____________
  • Collaborated with 3 students to lead class discussions on _______
  • Compared and contrasted the political systems of _________ in order to _____________
  • Explored the impact of the _________ elections on ________ resulting in a ______-page paper and 20 minute class presentation
  • Familiar with several electronic reference databases such as, _______________
  • Utilized various primary and secondary sources
  • Examined processes for developing scientific surveys and polls, including limitations, voter participation, political decision-making
  • Prepared and delivered speech as representative of _____ for Model UN

History Majors

  • Compared and contrasted French and Russian industrial revolutions, resulting in 12-page paper and 20 min. presentation
  • Studied warfare in classical antiquity from Homeric Greece to Roman Empire
  • Examined role of women in building communities in Greek, Hellenistic and Roman societies
  • Delivered “London’s Fall From Grace” poster presentation at 200_ NCUR (National Conferences on Undergraduate Research)
  • Participated in 4-student group presentation; taught full class session, including assignment of worksheets
  • Used various electronic databases to research primary and secondary sources
  • Encouraged by History department chair to become history tutor
  • Asked by theatre department to consult on period play
  • Tutored undergraduates and high school students on variety of history topics; helped students prepare for mid-term and final exams

Marketing Majors

  • Developed mock marketing plan for startup business, including internal/external situation analysis, internal marketing quality audit, target market identification, strategic and tactical goal setting, marketing mix development; feedback and evaluation system
  • Led lively class discussion on “Customer Service and Handling Dissatisfaction”
  • Designed sample marketing communications plan, including: advertising, personal selling, sales promotion, direct and web-based communications, and public relations
  • Delivered 10-minute marketing pitch to class, successfully advocating for _____
  • Studied Internet marketing, including SEM, direct marketing, online advertising, customer relations management, ____, ____, and ____
  • Analyzed marketing data using SPSS
  • Familiar with univariate and multivariate data analysis techniques
  • Designed market research project: formulated a research problem, designed questionnaire, selected a sample frame; collected, entered and analyze respondent data; wrote a comprehensive research report in collaboration with 3 students
  • Examined issues around global marketing, with close emphasis on role of cultural diversity
  • Member of team that won 1st place in 2008 AAF-NSAC District Competition

Mathematics Majors

  • Thorough knowledge of statistical modeling, techniques and practices
  • Formulated and analyzed mathematical models for a variety of real-world phenomenon, including ________
  • Analyzed, constructed, and verified ___________ algorithms
  • Formulated and assessed logical expressions and functions
  • Graphed quadratic, rational, radical, and absolute value functions, linear equations and inequalities
  • Determined convergence and divergence of sequences and infinite series using comparison tests, geometric series, ratio test, harmonics, integral test, root test and alternating series
  • Used MATLAB to ____________
  • Wrote SQL queries using SQL Server and Oracle
  • Manipulated large data sets for analytical studies
  • Regularly assisted professor in explaining complex mathematical concepts in easily-to-understand terms
  • Analyzed data for trends and supported findings through thorough documentation
  • Presented statistical results and technical findings to class of 25 students as part of 30 min. presentation

Physics Majors

  • Familiar with classical theories of physics, including ones relating to classical mechanics, thermal physics, electricity and magnetism
  • Designed research project on ________ culminating in ___ page paper and ___ minute presentation
  • Solved 3-D calculus-based problems using Kaleidagraph
  • Collaborated with _____ students to solve ______ theorems
  • Familiar with using linear programming for qualitative analysis of data; optimization in multiple variables
  • Wrote detailed lab notes, including all methods and procedures
  • Conducted weekly laboratory exercises on laser physics and optics
  • Explored relationship between physics and music, including vibrations, waves, interference, resonance, physics of musical instruments and impact of electronics
  • Senior research seminar: built a model and developed an hypotheses – __________ – based on the theory that ____________; conducted significant literature review
  • Familiar with computer-based approaches to graphical visualization, solution of ordinary differential equations, and evaluation of integrals
  • Examined fundamental properties of crystalline solids from experimental perspective
  • Analyzed, constructed and tested circuits used in present-day research with strict adherence to standard laboratory practice

Public Relations Majors

  • Studied various theories of communications, including ____, ____, ____ and ____.
  • Examined issues of age, ethnicity, and gender in relation to communication.
  • Wrote simulated memo to parents of first year students informing them about recent changes to residence policies; letter subsequently adopted by Residence Life.
  • Interviewed attorney, J. Smith, regarding issues slander, invasion of privacy and libel; gave 15 min. class presentation summarizing interview.
  • Developed communication portfolio for St. Mary’s Hospital in collaboration with three other students.
  • Studied crisis communication; presented comparison of Mattel vs. Fisher-Price management of toy recalls
  • Wrote several university press releases, including news of $2.5 million gift
  • Gave numerous mock news conferences, including announcement of tainted beef recall.
  • Developed 20-page, corporate communications package for mock Google buyout of Facebook and gave 30 min. class presentation as part of 3-person final project.

Psychology Majors

  • Read extensively about various child development theories, including those of Piaget, Mahler, Bowlby and Bandura.
  • Familiar with research design, reseach methodologies, and statistical analysis.
  • Conducted semester-long study examining response times to visual stimuli with and without auditory distractions, resulting in 25-page paper and 30 min. presentation.
  • Examined theory that employment duration among immigrant populations is longer than that of domestic populations.
  • Used various electronic databases, including PsychInfo, PsychARTICLES, and ProQuest.
  • Lead numerous class discussion on wide range of topics, such as anxiety’s effect on studying, post traumatic stress from 9/11, and therapeutic uses of music and song.
  • As part of 5-student group, observed learning strategies of 3-5 year old children at local daycare center.
  • Utilized SPSS to analyze research findings.


  • Familiar with various theoretical perspectives, including systems theory, exchange theory, ____, _____ and ______
  • Led several class discussions on topics such as Feminist Response to Racism, Modernizing the Catholic Church, and Sociology of the Internet
  • Examined cultural influences on consumer behavior with specific emphasis on Japanese-American culture; wrote 15-page paper summarizing findings
  • As part of 4-person group, gave 45-minute presentation on Homelessness in Chicago, theorizing that __________
  • Familiar with models of research design, data collection techniques and data analysis
  • Compared media coverage of two celebrities and two political figures to examine role of media and popular culture on daily life
  • Conducted interviews of 30 professional women (employed full time)and 32 college women (employed no more than 20 hours/week) as part of field project that explored perceptions of high-end consumer items
  • Designed social network website, using Ning, to research “group think” within virtual communities; site later adopted by instructor to conduct future research

Employers Interested in Hiring DACA Students

Below is a list of employers who indicated, as part of a recruitment survey conducted in 2015 by Penn and UCLA, that they would like to be included on a list of those specifically interested in hiring DACA students. The list is broken down by industry. The survey was conducted again in 2019 by the National Association of Colleges & Employers, and those employers are listed in italics below:


Biomedical Products/Pharmaceuticals

Communications (Media, Entertainment, Advertising, PR)



Financial Services & Insurance




Legal Services






Source: Career Services, U. of Pennsylvania

Video: Grow Your Network with LinkedIn (2021)

Grow your Network with LinkedIn, Jill Manuel ’84, Director of Content/Newsroom Strategist, Social Media Coach & Content Creator, ABC 10 The Lawrence network is one of the most powerful tools that students can tap into for not only career advice but also for comradery, friendship and general advice. Join alumna, Jill Manuel ‘84, as she discusses the power of Lawrentian networking and how optimizing LinkedIn can help you connect with Lawrentians and beyond.