Develop a strategy for your internship or job search


The internship and job search looks different for students depending on your interests and what phase of the job search you're currently in. While some employers start recruiting early in the fall semester, the process continues throughout the year and well into spring. It's never too early or too late! Check out our resources for tailored advice for each phase of the job search process. 

  • On Grounds & Off Grounds Search strategies

    Ready to start your internship or job search? Our office is here to help make the process as smooth as possible.

    QUICK OVERVIEW OF THE PROCESS

    Many employers will begin their recruiting process (for internships and full-time positions) early in the fall semester. Beginning in September, employers will be on grounds to give information sessions, attend career fairs, participate in career-related programs, and conduct on-grounds interviews. However, the recruiting process continues throughout the year and well into spring so it's never too late to start!

    Getting Started:

    • Complete your Handshake profile.  Set up filters for your job searches, find events to attend, review career search resources, and research jobs and employers.
    • Have your resume reviewed. You can make an individual appointment, come to drop-in hours, attend a resume marathon, or review on-line resources.
    • Join one or more Career Communities. Career Communities are organized by industry, not major, and provide an opportunity to connect to specific, tailored industry resources and programs. 

     

    Start Your On-Grounds Search:

    Handshake On Campus Interviews - Some employers will post positions in Handshake, review resumes and select candidates to interview on grounds. This is as easy as job searching gets - there is a published time frame for each stage of the search and the employers come to UVA to do in-person interviews! From Handshake, click "JOBS" and then the On-Campus Interviews button in the blue bar at the top.

    Handshake Job Postings - Hundreds of new jobs are posted in Handshake every day for UVA students to browse. You'll need to set up your job filters in Handshake to make sure you're seeing the positions most relevant to you. You'll be able to apply for these positions by submitting your resume through Handshake but some employers will also want you to apply through their own website. Unlike the On Campus Interviews, you may or may not hear anything in response to your application. Here are some tips for increasing the chances that you'll get some type of response.

    Research Employers - Maybe you know you're interested in a certain industry (autonomous cars, ed tech, construction, industrial manufacturing, app development for example) but aren't finding job opportunities through Handshake. In addition to job postings, Handshake also has a huge database of companies. While they may not have a position currently posted, any company that has posted a job in the past or attended a career fair or event at UVA will be in the database.  Searching by keyword, industry, or location can be a helpful way to narrow down your list.  Once you have a workable list, you can look for UVA alums in LinkedIn that might be working there or our office can help you identify HR/recruiting contacts.

    Start you off-grounds search - Most students will also need to look beyond Handshake for jobs and internships

    Learn to Network to find alumni, explore career paths and research companies

    Industry Specific Job Boards - Engineering associations, tech job boards, local job boards, other specialty boards

    Leadership Development and Rotational Programs - List maintained by Columbia University

  • Resumes & Cover Letters

    Creating resumes and cover letters

    Creating a resume is one of the first tasks to complete when starting your job or internship search. Taking time when you start your job search to build a strong master resume and cover letter that you can update and refine to target the specific jobs you're looking for will pay off in the long run. 

    Review tips for developing your documents and samples
  • Interviewing

    Preparing for the interview

    For many college students interviewing for a job or internship is a new concept. It can be a little daunting, but we're here to help!

    Interviewing Tips and Resources
  • Programs & Events

    Programs and Events

    Got a career-related question? We've got a program for that! 

    We use Handshake to post information about all of our events and programs that happen throughout the year. From 200+ employer career fairs, to small career design workshops, we try to plan events that will cover all of the career related topics you're interested. 

    Use Handshake to find and register for upcoming events - look for career fairs, employer information sessions, resume marathons, interviewing workshops, alumni panels, technology fairs, industry specific treks (company visits in other cities), career exploration activities and many others!

    UVA Career Center Event Calendar

  • Handshake

    Where students, employers and career services meet

    Handshake is the UVA online platform for all things career related. Handshake is where you can:

    • Search for internships, part-time jobs, full-time jobs, on-grounds jobs, and work study jobs
    • Apply and interview for On-Grounds Recruiting opportunities
    • View and register for the wide range of events and programs happening on grounds
    • Make an appointment to see a counselor
    • Search for companies that match your career interests
    • Utilize resources for career exploration, researching companies, and learning about career options
    • Complete your profile and get started!
    • Handshake FAQs
  • International Jobs and Internships

    Many students at UVA have an interest in interning or working abroad and a desire to learn about international career-related resources.

    3 tips to help you begin:

    • Start exploring early. Most searches begin at least several months prior to departure.
    • Network early and often. Express your interest to faculty, alumni, peers (especially our international students), family members, friends of the family, etc.  You never know who might have a helpful contact overseas.
    • Make an appointment with a career counselor to discuss your ideas and plan.

    If you have thought about embarking on an overseas experience, learn more about a variety of resources:

     

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    PATHWAYS TO GAINING INTERNATIONAL EXPERIENCE

    UVA Global Internships Office

    The Global Internships Office posts a variety of summer internship opportunities in Handshake in the fall semester, with most deadlines taking place in December.

    UVA academic internship programs
    Some internship opportunities are affiliated with academic credit and are part of a study abroad program. Learn more from the Office of Engineering International Programs or UVA Education Abroad.

    Non-UVA fee-based placement organizations 
    A variety of companies offer custom international placements. Fees, inclusions, locations, and duties vary by company.

    Pursue an opportunity independently through networking and developing a search strategy
    Occasionally, an opportunity to intern, work, or volunteer overseas presents itself when you share your interests with people who have global connections. Speak with others who have international experience or who have friends and colleagues that do. Apply to organizations that may already provide international opportunities, such as government agencies, NGOs, and US multinational companies. Consider meeting with a career advisor if you would like to develop an independent search strategy.

    And, both the School of Engineering and the University provide international programs and resources for you to explore on Grounds or around the world.

    UVA Engineering Office of International Programs
    Engineers Going Global
    UVA Global: Visit the “Activities on Grounds” section
    International Studies Office: Education Abroad
    UVA Summer Language Institute

     

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    SAMPLE INTERNSHIPS, RESEARCH, AND VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES

    Finding an internship, volunteer, or work abroad position can be a challenging, detailed process. The resources listed below are intended to introduce you to some of the existing programs and options available. We encourage you to speak with professors, family, friends, and alumni, in addition to conducting your own searches to expand your list of opportunities.

    Note: Although care has been taken in preparing the information contained in this site, the Center for Engineering Career Development (CECD) does not and cannot guarantee its completeness or accuracy. Information is subject to change and users should therefore confirm all information related to programs and resources with the appropriate contact. Links to external websites are provided for convenience only. CECD has no control over their content. The existence of any link does not imply endorsement of the site by CECD and users are advised to exercise the same caution they would normally apply in visiting any unknown web site.

    Internship programs and/or fee-based organizations

    IAESTE United States 
    CDS International/Cultural Vistas 
    Experiential Learning International 
    International Internships 
    World Endeavors 
    GoAbroad.com: Intern Abroad 
    GoOverseas.com: Intern Abroad 
     

    Research-based internships

    RISE provides research internships to students pursuing the sciences or engineering at universities or research institutions in Germany.

    The Pasteur Foundation Summer Internship Program offers a research internship to those with a strong interest in biosciences and biomedical research.

    The NanoJapan Program offers 1st and 2nd year undergraduates research-based summer internships with Japanese research institutions focusing on nanotechnology research.

    Volunteer Programs and Resources

    The resources below can help you start exploring volunteer abroad opportunities. Please note that many organizations charge a fee to help cover volunteers' accommodation, meals, and project costs. Some offer scholarships to help offset the cost.

    Idealist lists non-profit jobs, internships, and volunteer opportunities, searchable by geographic location.

    Volunteers for Peace places volunteers in positions around the globe.

    United Planet connects volunteers to short or long-term projects in over 40 countries.

    You can search for a variety of programs on both GoAbroad.com: Volunteer Abroad and GoOverseas.com: Volunteer Abroad.

    Additional resources

    GoinGlobal offers country-specific career information and cultural advice. Access it for free through the Resources section of Handshake.

    BUNAC provides assistance in obtaining work permits within several countries.

    The Work Holiday Programme in Singapore allows students and recent graduates to apply for a work permit.

    Transitions Abroad offers a guide to travel, work, study, and living abroad.

     

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    FINANCING YOUR INTERNATIONAL EXPERIENCE

    In the early stages of researching international opportunities, many create a travel budget and seek avenues for funding the experience.

    To enjoy an experience abroad, you may need to allocate funds to round trip transportation, program fees, academic credit, housing, meals, travel documents, insurance, and more.  The following scholarships and grants may help offset some of the associated costs.

    Funding opportunities at UVA

    Opportunities and resources outside of the University community

    • The Fund for Education Abroad offers scholarships and support to students who are underrepresented in study abroad programs.
    • If you are working with a program provider, many offer partial scholarships to help offset a portion of the registration and participation costs. Ask providers for details if you do not easily find this information on their site.

     

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    ADDITIONAL CONSIDERATIONS BEFORE TAKING ON AN INTERNATIONAL EXPERIENCE

    Once students decide to pursue an international internship, research or volunteer experience, or job, they often spend countless hours excitedly exploring potential opportunities. Be sure you also make time to prepare for an international experience! Research potential destinations, visas, health and safety advice, and other important topics. If you participate in a UVA-affiliated program, you might also be required to attend pre-departure orientations or other trainings.

    Designed for students

    The State Department site offers advice on health, safety, travel documents, insurance, smart travel, and more.

    State Department Travel Advice

    Additional Health and Safety Advice

    Required documents

    • Apply for or renew a US passport
    • Learn if you will need a visa (work or otherwise) for your country of interest – search for your destination country here and then visit the website for their embassy in the U.S. for more information

      Adjusting to changes in environment and culture

     

"One-on-one conversations and direct feedback from my career advisor really helped me focus on what I wanted to get out of my college experience at UVA. With personalized advice from career services, I was able to identify study abroad opportunities, networking events, and potential career paths related to my major."

Jessica Lin, BS Systems Engineering, 2017