Being a Peer Consultant at the CCO, I am frequently sitting in on drop-in hours at Young Hall answering the career development questions of fellow Boilermakers. I have had many students come into drop-ins and ask me how to find jobs or internships in or near their hometown. This is a common question and a good one.
Starting Your Search
Most students like the option of working close to home so that they can save more of the money they earn. The best advice I can give is that first, set a distance that you find drivable around your hometown. For example, the summer going into my junior year I wanted to find an internship near my hometown of Merrillville, Indiana. I decided that since I’m only 45 minutes from Chicago, I would look there for internships as well. Doing this gives you a lot more options than solely looking at companies or businesses in your hometown.
Next, I would look up companies located in this area that are related to the field you are looking to get experience in, and then go directly to their website to see the opportunities they have. This way is easier than just going to google because you are getting reliable information. From there, I would start applying to the opportunities you find.
Struggling to Find Positions
A follow-up question I usually get is “Well what if I don’t find any opportunities in my area?” If this happens to you, and you still are unwilling to go to a different state or distant city to seek a job, then I would do one of two things.
The first option is to look for opportunities in towns or cities that you have other family members, like grandparents or cousins, living in. This option allows you to be with people you are familiar with and not have the stress of finding and renting a place for the summer months.
The second option is to reach out to businesses or companies that you found are located in or near your hometown and ask them directly if they could come up with a job or internship for you, or if you could shadow an employee for a couple of weeks. This option can be a little daunting if you are not used to networking and reaching out to strangers to talk about employment opportunities. But I would encourage you to give it a try.
Online Internship Search Resources
- Indeed: You can set a location filter to show positions in or around your area
- LinkedIn: Connect with local professionals in the industry you are interested in and ask about setting up an informational interview or if they know of any available positions
You never know what opportunities are out there. If you have any further questions, feel free to reach out to us at the CCO via our email, firstname.lastname@example.org! Happy hunting!