Internship Advice

How to Land a Fall Internship/Co-op

Want a unique way to gain experience throughout the school year on top of a summer internship? In this guide, we'll cover exactly how to land a fall internship and what it means for your career.

Kevin Shim
Published: (Updated: ) - 5 min read
As a growth lead, Kevin manages Simplify's blogs, newsletter, and social media growth. He's an experienced job-seeker looking to help others by sharing the latest insights into recruiting.

Photo by LinkedIn Sales Solutions / Unsplash

If you're a student who struggled to land a summer internship or want an additional way to build up your resume throughout the year, take a look at off-cycle internships. These are internships and co-ops that take place outside the typical summer timeline and can take place during the fall, winter, or spring.

They're a unique way to add more experience to your resume, make some extra money during the school year, and even secure a full-time offer. Plus, there's often less competition than the coveted summer internship 🤫.

However, landing a fall internship takes some extra time and research. In this full guide, we'll cover exactly how to land a fall opportunity with information on the top industries that are hiring, when to apply, and how to ultimately land the job offer.

How is a fall internship different from a fall co-op?

The main difference is in total working hours. Fall co-ops often require you to work full time at 40 hours/week for 4-12 months, while a fall internship is more flexible at 10-40 hours per week for 2-4 months.

Both are great opportunities to gain experience and build your career.

Fall Internship Benefits

Despite not being as in-demand as a summer internship, fall internships still have various benefits that shouldn't be overlooked. Let's take a look at some of the main benefits in comparison to a summer internship:

  • Integration with academics: Some fall internship programs give you the ability to take classes on top of the internship. This helps you stay on top of your college career while gaining work experience.
  • Chance to explore career paths: While a summer internship may come with more pressure and a shorter time frame, fall internships can give you more time to explore your career interests.
  • Consistent Paycheck: Working an internship during the fall can help bring in some extra income to pay for any expenses you might have.
  • Less Competition: Because fewer people are applying for fall internships compared to summer internships, these can be a unique way to get your foot in the door at your dream company.
Who is eligible for a fall internship?

Typically, companies will hire fall interns for Undergraduate, Graduate, and PhD students.

How to Land a Fall Internship

Now that we know the benefits of a fall internship, how do you actually land one?

In this article, we'll cover:

  1. Pathways to a Fall Offer
  2. Industries that are Hiring
  3. Fall Recruiting Timeline
  4. Where to Find Fall Internships
  5. Securing the Job Offer

Let's get started 👇

Understanding the Pathways to a Fall Offer

Fall internships and co-ops are not just a fallback option; they're also strategic career moves. Understanding how others land fall opportunities is crucial.

Here are the most common ways people land a fall job:

  1. Extending your Summer Internship: This is when you ask your summer employer to continue your internship through the fall. Because companies want to retain talent, some employers may let you do this.
  2. Online Applications: Major companies and startups will post fall internships/co-ops directly to their hiring pages.
  3. University Internships: Many schools provide work opportunities in the fall, either as an internship or as part of a research opportunity with a professor.
  4. Cold Outreach: A unique way to land an internship is through cold outreach. These are usually one-off opportunities that aren't open to the public but can be found through networking and cold emails.

Since there are many different ways to land a fall job, being creative can come in handy. If one method isn't working, consider exploring other strategies to give yourself an edge.

Industries that are Hiring

While the majority of major industries end up hiring fall interns/co-ops at some point, here are some of the specific industries we've noticed are hiring:

  1. Tech (Software Engineering, Product Management, Analytics, Marketing, etc)
  2. Finance/Banking
  3. Legal
  4. Healthcare

Across all industries, the principles outlined in this article are likely to remain consistent and applicable to your job search process. Nonetheless, it's crucial to conduct additional research within your specific industry to stay updated on the latest developments and to tailor your job strategy accordingly.

Curious how internships work in different industries?

Learn more about the differences between Tech, Finance, and Healthcare internships here.

Fall Recruiting Timeline

This goes for most types of job recruiting, but a crucial part of landing an off-cycle internship is to start looking EARLY.

Many companies begin their recruiting cycles 3-12 months before the start date and it's important to begin at the right time. While these dates may fluctuate based on the company and overall market, here's the typical layout for when companies start recruiting for the fall:

Despite a difficult job market, landing a fall internship this year is still possible. Make sure to submit your applications on time and before the application deadline so you're ahead of the curve!

When is the start date for a fall internship?

Start dates can vary based on the company, but they typically are in August or September for a fall internship.

Where to Find Fall Internships

One of the easiest ways to find these opportunities is through Simplify's built-in tool for filtering internships. The tool tells you exactly when the opportunities are released, and keeps track of your applications.

Here's how it works:

  1. 👉 Go to Simplify's Jobs page
  2. In the "search" tab, look up "fall" to filter for fall jobs
  3. For "experience level", select "internship"
  4. Turn on "sort by most recent" so you're getting the most up-to-date jobs
  1. Look at the available options and click "apply" to autofill your job application! (psst... there are currently 60+ fall internships available!)

Additionally, here are a couple more sources that can be helpful for finding fall opportunities:

Securing the Job Offer

Once you're actively submitting applications, the same process for landing a summer internship follows.

Focus on nailing the interview, networking, and standing out in the hiring process.

Additionally, during the interview, be ready for questions like "How do you plan to balance your fall internship with your schoolwork?" on top of the typical questions expected for your role.

Once you start interviewing, you'll be well on your way to securing a fall offer.

Struggling to pass your interviews?

Check out this resource that shows you how to use ChatGPT to crush your next interview.

Key Takeaways

Fall internships, or any other off-cycle internships, can be a great pathway to build experience and grow professionally during the school year. With that said, let's recap the main lessons we just covered:

  • There are many ways to land a fall internship, and trying new methods can boost your chances of success
  • The job search principles in this blog are applicable to most major industries (but should be tailored to your individual industry)
  • Fall internship recruiting starts 3-12 months before the start date
  • Websites like Simplify, Y Combinator Jobs, and Handshake are great for finding fall internships
  • Securing the offer for a fall internship is similar to the process for a summer internship – focus on standing out in the interview and networking

With these tips in mind, you're now equipped to pursue your fall internship with confidence. Good luck :)