Resources for Preparing and Searching for Internships
Students can access a comprehensive folder of internship search resources here.
Where do I begin?
Think about what you'd like to do
Think about what kind of work you'd like to get involved with, what kind of organization you'd like to work for, and what country or part of the U.S. you would like to explore.
It's never too soon to get the process of setting up your internship in motion. Some organizations have early deadlines for summer internship positions, even as early as January. Many also have limited internship spots, so avoid the competitive rush and get your request in early. Start looking early in the semester or over break periods, before your study load gets too heavy. Avoid the last-minute grab-and-go internship: The earlier you start, the more information you can gather, and the better your internship choice will meet your interests.
Our site posts opportunities that organizations send to the school, please check the listings often for the latest.
First, talk to your advisor and other faculty members about your interests. Find out what internship opportunities they know about and what contacts they can provide. Talk to other students—both those who've done internships and those who are also looking—for ideas and contacts. Talk to everyone you come in contact with through the Friedman School, Tufts University, or related outside work. Good internship ideas and opportunities come from many places.
Visit the websites of organizations that have already provided internship opportunities to Friedman School students to learn more about them and what programs are currently underway that might support an intern. The David Patrick O'Brien Grant is awarded to one Tufts intern each year; consider applying.
Contact and follow up
Once you've found an organization that you'd like to intern with, find out who the correct internship contact is and send him or her your request by email or fill out and mail in the application, as needed, by the deadline provided.
- Include a brief description of your own course of study and career interests.
- Refer to the previous Friedman School student (if there was one) by name and date of internship.
- Outline the dates of the internship period you're pursuing.
If your potential host is interested, ask for more information:
- What the internship involves (what kind of work you'd be doing or would like to be doing—keep your own goals top-of-mind)
- What the stipend is (if any)
- What travel expenses are provided (if any)
- What housing is provided (if any)
- With whom you'd be working—who you'd report to and who your colleagues will be.
When you're offered an internship position that you'd like to accept, ask your host contact to provide you with all the details on the information listed above in writing and mail it to you at least one month before the start date of the internship.
Note that people are busy and may not be able to get back to you right away. Polite persistence is the best course of action to get a response. If you don't hear from your contact within a week or so, a courteous followup from you in the form of another email or telephone call is due. If possible, have a fallback contact—someone else within the organization who you can get in touch with in case your first contact is unavailable.
Ideas and Examples
Academy for Educational Development
An independent, nonprofit organization committed to solving critical social problems in the U.S. and throughout the world. Major areas of focus include health, education, youth development, and the environment.
A nonprofit microfinance organization that fights poverty through microlending.
Development Associates, Inc.
A private management and governmental consulting firm that provides public policy research, and managerial, administrative, and technical services to federal, state, and local government agencies and private organizations in the U.S. and abroad.
Global Health Council
An umbrella organization composed of professionals in the health-care field, non-governmental and governmental organizations, academic institutions, foundations and corporations. Priorities include child health, HIV/AIDS, reproductive and maternal health, infectious diseases, and emerging global health threats.
Sends teams of volunteers to live and work with local people on human and economic development projects identified by the community as important to its long-term development.
An independent agency committed to progressive social change.
A coalition of nonprofit organizations working worldwide, and a leading advocate for sustainable development, refugee and disaster assistance and humanitarian aid.
International Development Exchange
Focused on promoting economic justice and issues of food security, indigenous peoples' rights, labor issues, micro-credit, popular participation, womens' empowerment, and youth action.
International Food Policy Research Institute
Concentrates on economic growth and poverty alleviation in low-income countries, improvement of the well-being of poor people, and sound management of the natural resource base that supports agriculture.
International Monetary Fund
An international organization established to promote international monetary cooperation, exchange stability, and orderly exchange arrangements; to foster economic growth and high levels of employment; and to provide temporary financial assistance to countries to help ease balance of payments adjustment.
Institute of Organic Agriculture
A research group specializing in organic agriculture.
Institute of Nutrition and Food Science
Objective is to carry out research on nutritional problems and to do other relevant activities such as nutrition education and training, nutrition surveying, etc. with a view to bringing about improvement of the nutritional status of the people.
Partners for Development
A U.S.-based private not-for-profit organization currently managing self-help programs in Cambodia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Nigeria.
Goals are to help the people of interested countries in meeting their need for trained men and women, to help promote a better understanding of Americans on the part of the peoples served, and to help promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans.
Population Services International
Develops and implements programs worldwide to encourage healthful behavior and to increase the availability of health products and services at prices low-income people can afford.
Activities have assisted vulnerable communities in the health, shelter, reconstruction, education, community development, agriculture, food, income-generation, and conflict resolution sectors.
The Carter Center
Health programs that focus on eradicating and controlling diseases and reducing hunger by increasing food production, and peace efforts that help to achieve democratic government, resolve and prevent conflicts, safeguard human rights, and achieve long-term development.
United Nations Development Programme
Seeks to address the many causes of poverty and to promote development, including through the protection of human rights and the empowerment of women.
United Nations Volunteers
The United Nations programme that supports human development globally by promoting volunteerism and by mobilizing volunteers.
One of the world's largest sources of development assistance.
Science and Environmental Health Network
Advocates the wise application of science to protecting the environment and public health.
Urban Environment Initiative
Provides public access to Earth Science information and promote its use with a focus on the environment of urban areas.
Massachusetts Department of Public Health: Bureau of Environmental Health Assessment
Responds to environmental health concerns and provides communities with epidemiologic and toxicological health assessments.
Philadelphia Department of Public Health: Division of Early Childhood, Youth and Women's Health
Implements policies that benefit the health of women, children and families, working closely with other public agencies and advocates throughout Philadelphia's neighborhoods.
New Entry Sustainable Farming Project
A non-profit partnership that assists immigrants with agricultural experience to apply their skills in their new environment and become commercial farmers.
In addition, students have worked with the following groups:
- Bolton Flats Hmong Immigrant Agriculture Site / Manny's Dairy
- Gardens of Eagan Organic Farm
- Mothers and Others for a Livable Planet
- Urban Bounty Farm