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Finding an Internship

Finding an internship might seem a bit intimidating, but follow the process outlined here and you will have a good set of opportunities from which to choose. 

A process to follow:

  • Decide what kind of internship you want. That means both type (environmental, financial, diplomatic, educational, etc) and venue (government, non-profit, private). CAPS students should look for a China-related internship.
  • Use a variety of resources for ideas and potential internships. Start with 10-15 possibilities. Some of the major resources include:

Cornell in Washington internship database (access granted once apply to the program)

CIW internship evaluations (available in 300 Kennedy Hall)

CIW Facebook page and Twitter feed


Foreign Policy Association Job Board


Hillzoo (Capital Hill opportunities)

US House of Representatives

Idealist: Well known site for non-profits and associations


Monster College

USA Jobs: The government website of open position in many of the agencies

Washington Information Directory: Comprehensive list of non-government and government organizations. Click "Finding an internship" tab.

  • Need help knowing what to do next? Cornell Career Services offers many workshops and events to introduce you to the process of applying to a position and following up.
  • Be sure to personalize the cover letter for each internship. That means demonstrating that you understand what the organization does and how you would like to fit into that effort.
  • Send your cover letters and resumes to the internships. Use the organization’s web site to find a specific contact for internships; if one is not listed, try to find someone who is connected to the area in which you are working. Be sure to inquire first if the latter happens. Organizations may have a preferred method of delivery (mail, fax, email). Be sure to use that method. Include a copy of the CIW program description.
  • A week later, contact the internships to ensure that they’ve gotten your application. Do this by phone if possible.
  • While you wait, continue searching for other possible internships.
  • When you get an offer, make sure to ask what you’ll be doing and who will be supervising you before you decide whether to accept. Do not accept more than one offer.