Top 10 Suggestions and Resources for Finding Internships in Intl Development, CR and Related Fields

Dear Colleagues

Many students are interested in finding appropriate internships in the field to help develop their skills and experience. There are a number of suggestions that could be helpful in the search for a great internship that are offered below. First please note that this site is designed to provide opportunities for networking and sharing resources. In general individual postings seeking jobs/internships are not encouraged (and may be deleted). The main reason is the site would be deluged with requests and there are already many excellent resources available on the Internet.

Here are the top 10 suggestions for finding internships (please feel free to add your own suggestions).

1) Develop a Strong Resume - Make sure you have a strong, clear and compelling resume and cover letter. See the Download TipsforWritingEffectiveResumes.pdf . Many university career centers also offer guidance on resumes.

2) Read Key Resources - The ACT Report, Skills, Networks and Knowledge: Careers in International Peace and Conflict Resolution offers guide to careers in the field based on interviews with over 60 organizations and practitioners. The document also offers 10 pages of resources for finding jobs, internships, scholarships and more. You can download the report for Download Webreport.pdf or at the ACT website. Another great resource is a Career Guide from Sustainability on Corporate Social Responsibility. Idealist has also developed an excellent guide to Nonprofit Careers and a separate Careers Resources Section . Also see the Idealist Guide to International Volunteerism, and the United Nations Volunteer Web.

3) Subscribe to Key Web and Job Lists - There are countless numbers of websites that provide resources on jobs and internships in the field. You should get on all or some of these sites as you will get daily or weekly updates of opportunities around the world. See the full guide to job lists in the careers section(many of which post internships) Some of the best sites include:

4) Use your contacts/networks - One of the key strategies for finding a job/internship is to consult your personal and professional networks. Let your professors, colleagues and friends know that you're seeking an opportunity and perhaps they will have suggestions/contacts. University career centers and alumni can also be terrific resources.

5)Join New Networks- Joining a professional network in the field can also be a useful way to make contacts and learn about opportunities. Some relevant networks include:

Alliance for Peacebuilding
Society for International Development or Society for International Development DC Chapter
Association for Conflict Resolution
Women in International Security
Peace and Justice Studies Association

6) Find and Contact Organizations Directly - Often you can find great organizations and opportunities through your own research and identify/create your own opportunities. You can find also find opportunities listed directly on an organization's website. It is important to ensure that ensure that any organization you will work with is a legitimate organization (check with friends, see who funds them, visit their website, learn about their reputation). It is possible to contact organizations (particularly smaller ones) to let them know you're interested in their work and have skills (be specific) that you believe might be of assistance.

7) Explore Fellowship Opportunities - There are many excellent fellowships/scholarships that do provide funding for independent research/volunteer work/study. Thus, don't just think about internships as a way to get field experience, but look into ways you can obtain a fellowship and perhaps as part of your study intern with local organizations and/or conduct independent research. You can find many fellowships/scholarships on this site by searching by various keywords.

8) Explore Negotiating about Opportunities - While many internships are unpaid and an organization may not have sufficient funds, you may want to explore negotiating about the terms of potential internships. For example some organizations might be able to provide housing, while other organizations might provide training opportunities, or perhaps allow you to explore publication opportunities.

9) Consider Fundraising to Support Your Opportunity - Some universities may have funding opportunities to support summer internships/field work. Perhaps you can consult your relatives and ask for small contributions to cover your basic expenses or find other creative ways to fund your experience.

10) Additional Suggestions - What are additional suggestions for finding the best internship?

Views: 37402

Tags: Careers, Field Experience, Guide, Internships, Summer


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Comment by Christoph Damalie on July 28, 2011 at 3:26pm

You are really helping a lot Craig. We have instituted down to earth internship for people willing to go down to make the real difference. It is the A-Z formula. One can also work online as intern.

 We currently need website volunteers and interns and same for our projects and other departments. Visit and

One can also apply directly

Thanks Christoph -CES

Comment by Hari om Timilsina on July 26, 2011 at 3:58am
It's really interesting this!
Comment by Hari om Timilsina on July 26, 2011 at 3:58am
It's really interesting this!
Comment by Julius Atanawhemera on July 25, 2011 at 8:36pm
Million thanks Craig, this informations are very useful.


Comment by David N. Tshimba on July 25, 2011 at 3:55pm

Thanks, Craig for this sharing... For some of us this is timely and indeed much needed




Comment by Mostak on March 16, 2011 at 4:53pm
its really very helpful !
Mostak, Bangladesh
Comment by sanjeevmehta on March 16, 2011 at 3:19pm
Comment by Albert KUNIHIRA on February 23, 2011 at 5:41pm
I am disheartened by hundreds of Interns & Researchers who continue to squander tax payers money from their Countries to developing Countries and once they arrive there, they resort to tourism, it is sad and later they submit imagined research reports, its corruption, it is thefty.
Comment by Leslie Elva MacColman on August 11, 2010 at 1:52am
Unpack your baggage and recognize the constraints of a short-term stay. It is important to contextualize your desire for "exposure" with the real needs of the NGO. Often, sending a senior person to the field while you stay in the office backstopping on emails is MORE beneficial in the long-term, even though it might not be as fun. Examine your expectations before going and, if you think it will be helpful, check them against those of your superviser upon arriving. Recognize that most experiences offer the potential for deep cultural and organizational insight, if you keep an open mind. Be appreciative of the opportunities which are open to you and recognize the privilege they entail.
Comment by Leslie Elva MacColman on August 11, 2010 at 1:47am
Be flexible and enthusiastic. Experienced supervisors know that interns' needs are important but that long-term program and beneficiary needs trump them. So, if you want a stellar experience, make sure you are ready to help with anything and everything that needs doing. All institutions require administrative assistance and if you show yourself to be eager, responsible, and efficient with administrative tasks, you'll more likely to called on for projects that are larger in scope. An intern who smiles a lot and asks questions will naturally integrate better into day-to-day NGO life than one who doesn't.

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