Internships & Volunteering


Fair Labor Standard Act: 
Paid vs. Unpaid Internships?

Build real-life experience with an internship before you graduate.

Interning helps you explore the world of work in a professional setting, clarify your career goals, develop a professional network, enhance your marketability, and gain relevant hands-on experience that builds your resume.

Finding Internships

Utilize Handshake to find internship opportunities

Log in and complete your profile to apply for internships through Handshake. Handshake features thousands of paid and unpaid part and full-time internships and job opportunities. Review this quick video discussing advanced job search strategies in Handshake.

You can access GoinGlobal and USA Careers via the resources hub in Handshake to search for additional internship opportunities locally and globally.

Consider a Career Success-organized program

Career Success coordinates a variety of incredble experiential learning programs - consider applying today!

Try out project-based or microinternship short-term experiences

Forage provides meaningful projects submitted by companies designed to help you build meaningful experience and gain exposure to a variety of employers.

Parker Dewey connects students to microinternships, short-term paid project-based opportunities. 

Build relationships with alumni and employers in your fields of interest

Getting to know alumni and employers is a wonderful way to explore new opportunities. The LinkedIn Alumni Tool is a great way to find alumni working at places of interest to conduct quick informational interviews, learning more about their career path and tips for you as you search for opportunities. While it may not lead to direct internship offers, these relationships can help you learn more about techniques for finding your next opportunity.

Utilize additional websites to search for opportunities

Try out any of the following search tools to aid your search process:

Consider engaging in undergraduate research

Undergraduate research is another great way to gain experience, especially if you might be interested in graduate school. Consider the following resources to find research opportunities:

  • Visit the Office of Undergraduate Research to learn more about contacting faculty about research and a database of research opportunities on campus.
  • Consider applying for the Learning-Aligned Employment Program, a form of work-study where California residents who meet the criteria can participate in paid undergraduate research.
  • Apply for the Koret Scholars program to receive funding for an independent research project.

Finding unpaid opportunities

Sometimes we seek out unpaid opportunities to help build up experience or to qualify for scholarship programs on campus, like the Career Development Opportunity Fund. Consider the following volunteer-oriented websites for support:

  • Non-Profit Connection provides a database of paid and unpaid opportunities at non-profits in Santa Cruz county.
  • Idealist provides a listing of non-profits across the world, including volunteer and paid opportunities.
  • Visit the Student Volunteer Center to find additional opportunities to get involved and gain experience.

If you have specific questions about internships or experiential learning opportunities, please contact

Receiving an Offer

What you need to know when you receive an offer or your internship converts to a full-time position. UC Santa Cruz Recruiting Guidelines.