Identifying Internship Opportunities
Students regularly contact the LGBT Center seeking LGBT-themed internships as a part of their course of study, or as an addition to it. Some courses or majors require an internship, while other times a student may seek an internship to broader their experience outside the classroom, outside their major, or during winter or summer break in their home community or while living or working in another area of the country or of the world.
The local community offers some outstanding internship opportunities. Consider these local organizations and agencies, several of which have hosted IC interns in the past. Keep in mind that there are usually just a handful of local organizations doing LGBT-specific work at any given time, and literally thousands of students here each year from which to draw. Investing time to learn more about organizations in which one is interested, thoroughly understand application, deadline, and expectation details, and strategizing about how best to present oneself as a strong internship candidate, can really pay off in this type of competitive environment. Being a "known quantity" - distinguishing oneself as a dedicated volunteer or otherwise showing interest and being valuable to an organization consistently over time can often times lead to other opportunities such as internships and perhaps even paid positions in the future.
It's important to do some research when seeking an internship. With local organizations especially, getting one's foot in the door through first volunteering, or by requesting a meeting to talk about what specific skills or ideas you have to offer that may be mutually beneficial, may be much more productive than "cold" contacting without an organization having prior knowledge of your experience, professionalism, and unique skills.
There are also regional and national organizations that regularly seek interns, too. Ithaca College students have landed internships at some of the nation's most competitive, active and well-known LGBT organizations. Such internships may occur during school breaks, or in some cases (and depending on location and specifics of the position) may also be balanced along with conventional coursework during the semester.
Career Services is the main, most important resource for all students researching, seeking, and securing internships and related opportunities. If you have not yet contacted Career Services, consider contacting or visiting them today!
Think broadly about what kind of experience and setting you are seeking, and what skills you have to offer to a potential internship sponsor or site. Possible internship sites might include LGBT health centers, other LGBT-specific organizations, organizations that provide sexual health or sexuality information services, and community or campus LGBT Centers. Non-LGBT organizations also sometimes seek interns for LGBT projects, issues, and themes in which they may engage. Local schools that have GSAs, COLAGE groups, or similar groups, may also be a possibility. There are several challenges to this type of internship possibility, for instance the faculty adviser/leadership role (as well as student interests and needs) of K-12 school groups can change rapidly, and it is usually only one of many duties that person has in addition to their adviser role. Another possibility might be contacting a welcoming faith congregation to propose something mutually beneficial - again, the responsibility would be on the individual student to pursue and develop an appropriate internship,. The more initiative and involvement individual students' have in the pursuit and planning of these, the better the experiences and outcomes for all.
The following regional and national organizations offer internships and other opportunities. (Several have hosted IC students in the past, too, signified with an asterisk * below):