The bulk of students choose to intern during the summer between junior and senior year, however, more and more students are seeking opportunities after sophomore and even freshman year. One reason for this increased interest in interning is that competition for internship opportunities can be fierce, requiring successful candidates to already have internship experience in order to qualify for their junior year internship. Moreover, many students are looking for multiple internship experiences to diversify their knowledge and skill base. So, it really is up to you what year you decide to intern. If you think you may intern as a junior, it won’t hurt to look into the qualifications of internships of interest while you are still in freshman or sophomore year.
As for what time of year you should intern, it really is up to you and your campus. Many students intern during the summer, but if you can coordinate you class schedule, and have internship opportunities close to campus, you can also intern in the fall or spring. Some internships even run the full academic year. A few things to take into consideration when deciding the time of year to intern are the location of your campus and your permanent residence and whether you hope to/need to intern away from campus/home. If, for example, you attend school in an urban center that’s rich with internship opportunities in your field, an academic year internship is quite viable. On the other hand, if your campus is in a small college town, there may be fewer opportunities to choose from, so you may decide to wait for the summer when you can head home to intern. If home has few internship opportunities close by, many students choose to pursue internships in larger urban areas where they might sublet an apartment for the summer, or stay in residence at a local university.