In the current work environment, experience is becoming an important factor that employers consider in the hiring process. It is difficult to get employment straight away without prior working experience. Internships are helpful to get real-world experience to kick-start your career. So how do you get an internship, particularly at Harvard University? Here we highlight how to get an internship at Harvard and gain the much-needed experience. To secure an internship at Harvard, you need prior information about the opportunities they offer. This article has you covered.

What Is an Internship?

An internship is a period of work experience employers offer that to provide graduates and students with an exposure to the working environment, in a specific industry that relates to their field of study. It is an opportunity that potential employers offer graduates and students interested in gaining experience in specific industries. Internships can last for a few days to a year or more, and it can be a paid position, count towards college credit, or just a voluntary position to get some great experience. However, before starting your internship, it is important that you know your rights regarding being paid.

young man in business attire

Internships are common in a variety of sectors, such as I.T., management, graphic design, engineering, marketing, and sales among others. In the entire period of the internship, you'll learn a variety of soft skills, such as personal effectiveness, communication skills, creative problem solving, presentation skills, and improving your influencing skills.

You should note that the “on-the-job” experience is precious, just as anything you learned in your studies. It is impossible to comprehend what the job is really about unless you've worked similar jobs. They provide students with a great opportunity of speaking directly to people who have had experience in the various roles they aspire to. Their knowledge at the workplace will provide students with a greater understanding of what the roles are all about and what students need to progress.

What is Harvard?


Harvard University is a private Ivy League university in Cambridge, MA. It is mainly renowned for its research activities. It was founded in 1636, making it is the oldest American institution of higher learning, and its influence, string history, and accumulated wealth have made it one of the most prestigious universities in the world.

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The University has an Office of Career Services (OCS) that works in educating, connecting, and advising students pertaining to the opportunities for summer and after graduation, for them to foster a social, personal, and intellectual transformation. The OCS serves students in Harvard College, Harvard Extension School (HES) degree programs, the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS), and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS). It provides great resources on how to get an internship.

How to Get an Internship at Harvard?

Internship Search

A search on how to get an internship is vital to secure one. Harvard provides you with an opportunity and platforms for searching for the best internship opportunities. The characteristics of a successful internship search are like launching a successful new venture or business. They both need being proactive and initiative and finding ways of standing out and differentiating yourself and being adaptable and resilient if your first attempt isn't fruitful. However, different circumstances dictate different ways of how to get an internship, including the following:

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For college students, you need to search the following options:

  • Attend career fairs on how to get an internship
  • Take part in MIT’s OCI programs for engineering concentrators
  • Take a stock of skills and the skills gap using the OCS Skills Tracker
  • Use Jobtreks in managing your career networking and exploration
  • Search online databases for internship listings, such as UCAN, CrimsonCareers, iNet, and LinkedIn Volunteer Marketplace
  • You should consider Harvard’s Camos Interview Program

For non-academic GSAS students, you can explore the options provided above on how to get an internship.


However, for academic GSAS students, you can search:

  • Attend Becoming Faulty Workshops
  • Explore these external links, which are a compilation of career exploration and job search links for both nonacademic and academic careers.
  • Learn more about Interfolio to manage your job search materials
  • Watch the “Going on the Academic Market” tutorial on how to get an internship

For HES students, you should check the options provided in the above college and GSAS list, and also search:

  • Reading the HES Build Your Network publication
  • Search online databases such as Vault and Intern Hub
  • Attending networking webinars on how to get an internship
  • Exploring ProFellow, which is a database of over 1000 fellowship programs
  • Attending Positioning Your Extension School Degree to Employers

Institute of Politics (IOP) Internships and Careers

The IOP career services office at Harvard offers exciting internships in the summer. It provides the resources that allow students to incorporate their passion for politics into their summer and post-graduate experiences.

institute of politics logo

There are various opportunities including:

  • The Directors Internship Programs, which is eligible for Harvard College Undergraduates
  • Summer Stipend Programs, which is eligible for returning Harvard College Undergraduates
  • Research Assistant Program, for only returning Harvard College Undergraduates
  • Summer in Washington Program open for all Harvard Undergraduates

Summer Research Opportunities

These provide students with an opportunity or students to live at Harvard for the summer, work with the faculty and graduate students, and enjoy access to the university resources. If you are considering getting a Ph.D., then the Summer Research Opportunities at Harvard (SROH) connects you with first-class researchers who work in the social sciences, humanities, and physical sciences. In this 10-week program, interns conduct research and take part in discussions with Cambridge-based Harvard faculty, build research and presentation skills, and take part in field trips.

intern holding her certificate

The SROH program is funded by GSAS, Leadership Alliance, and Harvard Molecules, Cells, and Organisms. You can apply through the Leadership Alliance Summer Research-Early Identification Program between June and August when the applications are open. You should check their eligibility requirements, FAQs, and application instructions. This program covers travel and housing expenses and a stipend of $3,500 coupled with a food allowance of $1,500. However, students should take part for the full period of the program.

Summer Internships

There are many summer internships for students.

For High School students, they can enroll in:

  • StartStart is a course on and statistics for minority students in Boston.
  • They also can enter the Continuing Umbrella of Research Experience (CURE) at Harvard Cancer Center, which introduces high school and college students from under-represented populations to the world of cancer research, which helps them pursue future careers in biosciences and giving practical meaning to academic coursework

For undergraduate students and recent graduates, they can check with the:

  • Fostering Advancement & Careers through Enrichment Training in Science (FACETS). The 6-week FACET program provides the students with professional and academic enrichment opportunities.
  • The Multidisciplinary International Research (MIRT) Program, which encourages under-represented students in pursuing biomedical and behavioral careers.
  • Summer Program in Biological Sciences in Public Health program, whose goal is exposing the college science students to the rewards of laboratory research meant for solving healthcare issues.
  • Summer Program Biostatistics and Computational Biology is a 6-week program where the qualified participants receive an introduction to biostatistics, public health, and epidemiology research.
  • Students can also enroll in Summer Program in Epidemiology, which is a 4-week summer program in epidemiology that integrates quantitative methods and mathematics to provide the students with an understanding of the skills and the processes for pursuing a career in public health.

Harvard also offers undergraduate summer research opportunities across the university. Students can enroll in:

  • The Center for Causal Consequences of Variation Summer Undergraduate Research Internship Program at Harvard Medical School, which is a 10-week summer research internship that is paid for undergraduates interested in careers in genomic sciences.
  • Systems Biology Summer Internship program that offers undergraduates a 10-weel paid internship interested in research projects in biology, science, computations, and applied biology.
  • The Four Directions Summer Research Program (FDSRP) where students are equipped with new skills, knowledge, and experiences.
  • Harvard College Program for Research in Science and Engineering (PRISE) is a 10-week internship for undergraduates taking part in research affiliated with Harvard Faculty.
  • Harvard Stem Cell Institute (HSCI) Internship Program (HIP), whose goal is providing undergraduates with a focused and challenging research experience in stem cell science.
  • Summer Honors Undergraduate Research Program (SHURP) at Harvard Medical School (SHURP), a 10-week internship for college students who are under-represented in science research.
  • For undergraduates, graduate students and postdoctoral fellows, they can apply to the Individualized Internship and Fellowship matching System that helps them find research opportunities in their field of interest.
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Conclusion

Harvard University has many opportunities for all students. The university provides many opportunities in the summer. It is upon you to settle down on the best internship and apply for it. Internships are meant to ensure that the students learn the skills required for jobs, advancing their practical skills, and preparing them to enter a competitive job market. We hope that this article on how to get an internship will help you land a great internship opportunity with Harvard University.

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