One of the most stressful things a student can deal with is the internship search. College students are extremely competitive, and most students think that their only hope of guaranteeing a job after college is to intern as much as possible to build their resume, or, if you’re lucky, get offered a full time job at one of your internships.

To try and make this process as stress-free as possible, there are some things you need to consider in your search. What are you interested in? Where do you want to be? What are you studying? Can I receive school credit?

You want to apply for internships that are relevant to what you’re studying in school. To have a career in what you’re studying, you need to build your resume accordingly for when the time comes to apply for jobs after graduation. When future employers are looking at your resume, they want to see you have experience in the field outside of the classroom.

Let’s begin with the first question. What are you interested in?  Thinking about your area of study is a good first step, but there are hundreds of internship possibilities (depending on where you live) so you should narrow your search a little bit further. The more interested you are in the company and your potential role, the more time, effort, and excitement you will put into your application. Employers love to see people who are actually passionate about the work they will be doing. It will give you an edge when applying and employers want to see that you will give them 100% if they were to hire you.

Where do you want to be?  For most college students, money is something to consider. Because college students are expected to pay around $60,000 a year for school, most people don’t see it as worth their while to be paying money to commute to an unpaid internship. If your internship is for credit only, it will be better for you to apply to companies that are close to your home. Your commute to work will cost less so you don’t have to “pay for your internship.” But while commuting into the city can be costly, there are typically more opportunities in larger metropolitan areas and you can gain valuable real world experience. Using public transportation is how millions of people get to work every day. If you’re someone who loves being independent and being reliable, commuting is a perfect way to practice that!

Finally, there are hundreds of internships out there. Don’t get discouraged if places don’t call you or if they decide to go in a different direction. Rejection is part of life and it happens to everyone. Apply to as many places as you can. With a positive attitude and a passion for what you want to do, you never know what might come your way!