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Internships, Apprenticeships, & Volunteer Opportunities


The Riley Guide: Sites with Job Listings

If you're ready to jump into an entry level job – or a new field – but keep seeing the message "experience required," an internship, an apprenticeship or a fellowship may be the route for you. Contrary to what you might expect, many internships and apprenticeships offer pay that's not too far below that of an entry-level employee; and even those that don't can help you land much more interesting and higher-paying positions than you'd be able to find if starting from scratch. Volunteer work, on the other hand, can help you find fulfilment in work from which you might have trouble earning a living, but which can still connect you with people and experiences you're curious about.

While many of the Internet's largest job boards host a variety of internship postings in addition to their listings for traditional paid positions, quite a few sites exist solely to provide access to opportunities for internships, apprenticeships, fellowships and volunteer work. This article will provide a look at a variety of those sites, broken down into categories to help you choose the resources that are right for you.

Collections of Internship Information

While some websites are dedicated to providing information on internships in a specific field, or for a specific company, others collect internship postings for a wide variety of areas and present them all through a single search interface. These sites are great places to start if you aren't sure exactly what kind of internships are ideally suited to your skills, or which kinds are available within your areas of interest. Start by plugging some keywords related to those skills and interests into the search boxes on these sites and see what you find.

Some websites collect internship postings for a wide variety of fields…

CollegeJobConnect.com offers college students the opportunity to connect with companies across the US to learn about jobs and internships. The site is free for students and allows you to register a resume, to review employer profiles and to look at current opportunities that employers have posted. SummerInternships.com offers internship programs in several US and International locations that span numerous industries. Experience.com operates career services websites for over 3800 colleges and universities across the U.s. – including some that list internship opportunities.

InternJobs.com provides a global database of internships and entry-level positions for students and recent graduates and career changers – including contact information for employers. InternMatch.com matching students with internship opportunities across the U.S., from nonprofit organizations to Fortune 500 companies. Internships.com also lists internships all across the U.S., along with company contact info. UrbanEmploy.com provides an extensive source for internships and jobs in many major cities. And USAIntern.com provides a searchable database of internship opportunities in all 50 states.

Internships / Fellowships

Other websites provide information on internship opportunities in particular industries or specific groups of companies – or offer centralized resources of information on particular internship programs. Although these sites may not offer the variety of internship postings that the larger sites do, they can help you target your search toward areas in which you're interested, and put you in touch with people who work with internship programs in your field.

Other websites offer centralized resources of information on particular internship programs…

AcademyInternshipsAbroad.com provides internships for graduates and young professionals with responsible organizations across the globe. They have offices in the U.K., in the U.S. (Boston), and in Australia, and they offer placements in cities around the world. BIOS.edu, the official website of the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences, provides information on internship opportunities, along with scholarships for summer study programs – and citizens of Canada, UK, and developing countries have special scholarship opportunities.

CreativeInterns.com is designed to help colleges, businesses, and students connect for the purpose of showcasing young creative talent and helping that talent gain experience. The California state Capital Fellows Program offers 64 fellowships in various positions in the state government of California. The Student Conservation Association (SCA.org) offers 3-to-12 month, expense-paid internship opportunities in all 50 states, in more than 50 professional fields with the National Park Service, the U.S. Forest Service, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Geological Survey, and state and local agencies

Dynamy.org provides a variety of internship program designed to give you real-world work experience while also helping you earn college credit. FSDInternational.org, the website of the Foundation for Sustainable Development, offers internships as well as overseas volunteer opportunities. The Google Policy Fellowship program offers students interested in Internet and technology policy the opportunity to spend the summer working on these issues at public interest organizations.

And if you're interested in a government internship, The Washington D.C. JobSource provides a listing of federal internships, including links to the internship opportunities available in each agency or department, and a list of links to all members of the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate and internships offered in their offices – while the Washington Internship Institute (WIIDC.org) is designed to provide substantive internship experiences through numerous programs, all of which are based in Washington D.C.; and White House Fellowships provide firsthand experience in the process of government, either in the Office of the President or in one of the cabinet-level agencies.

Study / Non-Study Experience Abroad

Internships and fellowships can provide ideal opportunities to get out of your native country and experience other lands and cultures. Whether you're still a student or looking for a full-time job, a variety of programs exist to help connect you with the resources you'll need to find a work abroad, to get to where you need to go, and to set you up with lodging and other basic necessities once you're there. Some of these programs require a few months of advance training, while others may be ready to help you get moving right away.

A variety of programs exist to help connect you with opportunities abroad…

GoOverseas.com is a handy resource for finding opportunities to volunteer, to study abroad, and/or to teach in other countries. The site even has forums where you can talk to others who've pursued these same adventures, and review articles about the realities of life in a program like this. Globalplacement.com offers a searchable database of listings of internships around the world. Educations.com provides a huge searchable database of international programs and schools categorized by subject, country and keyword.

GoAbroad.com is packed with information on going overseas – the site allows you to search for internships, for volunteer opportunities, for teaching positions, for study-abroad opportunities, for travel information and more. Studyabroad.com provides links and contact information for thousands of opportunities in dozens of countries, which you can search by country, or browse by categories like language programs, internships and summer jobs. And the Council on International Education Exchange (CIEE.org) offers information on summer employment and internship opportunities throughout the world, including listings of opportunities you can search – plus they'll help you with the legal paperwork once you've found an opportunity you're interested in.

Apprenticeships & The Job Corps

Apprenticeship programs provide structured, on-the-job training for over 1000 career areas in traditional industries such as construction and manufacturing, as well as new emerging industries such as health care, information technology, energy, telecommunications and more.

My Next Move, created by the National Center for O*Net Development for the USDOL Employment and Training Administration, lists career fields with Registered Apprenticeship programs and links to information on those programs. This is probably the easiest way to find the data you need. If you are unsure of what program interests you, click on the "Interests" button at the top right of the screen to use their Interest Profiler to help you make some decisions.

Several online resources exist to help you find an apprenticeship program that's right for you…

The Federal Office of Apprenticeship within the US Employment and Training Administration has a presence in almost all 50 states plus many territories, and interested persons can contact the relevant state or responsible regional office for information on programs available in his or her state of residence. Many states also offer their own Registered Apprenticeship programs, with much more specific information and documents for interested individuals. Here are links to state apprenticeship agencies' websites and contact information for state apprenticeship agencies.

It's also possible to search the Office of Apprenticeship Sponsors website for a list of apprenticeship program sponsors recognized and registered by the Office of Apprenticeship or a state registration agency. Your search result will display the official name of the program sponsor, along with their street address, city and state. Although this database doesn't indicate if a given program is currently accepting applicants, it's still good way for individuals to begin a search.

And finally, try using Google to find programs by searching for terms like "apprentice", "apprenticeship", or "registered apprenticeship" plus additional terms describing the program that interests you, such as "sheet metal" or "metalworker", or the state in which you live.

Volunteer Opportunities

Volunteering is a great way to gain experience, or just to try something new that interests you. Some volunteer organizations will pay you a small stipend for joining up – but after all, that's not really the point. The experience you'll gain by helping people in need will pay off in ways you might never have expected.

Volunteering is a great way to gain experience, or just to try something new that interests you…

NationalService.gov, the website of The Corporation for National and Community Service, offers its own opportunities for fellowships and internships in its offices across the United States, and anyone interested in any of the AmeriCorps programs can learn about these programs and apply for any through that section of the website. DoSomething.org allows you to easily and quickly search for volunteer opportunities within a certain distance of your zip code. PeaceCorps.gov provides a database for current positions, along with an online application form.

Projects-Abroad.org has sent over 14,000 volunteers to work in several countries on numerous service projects, and they've got numerous current opportunities calling for volunteers in many areas of expertise. TaprootFoundation.org concentrates its efforts in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City, Washington D.C., and the San Francisco Bay area – but within those metro areas, they offer a wide variety of volunteering opportunities. UnitedPlanet.org arranges short and long-term volunteer opportunities in numerous programs and numerous countries around the world. And VolunteerMatch.org allows you to simply plug in your zip code, choose how far you can travel, when you can start, and whether you want a one-time or ongoing opportunity, and find a list of organizations who need you.

Helpful links

CollegeJobConnect — A large searchable database of entry-level jobs and internships for recent and soon-to-be college grads.

Internships.com — A user-friendly site for discovering and applying for internships in a variety of fields.

VolunteerMatch.org — An easy-to-use tool for finding immediate volunteering opportunities near you.

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