Where to Start?
The type of experience you seek should relate to career interests and the skills most relevant to that occupation and field. Consider the following:
- Clarify your interests, assess yourself, and explore how your interests related to careers and industry areas. To further explore your career interests, come to drop-in at our Career Resource Room or meet with a counselor
- Research occupations, qualifications and potential paths towards that career field to best align your experience now with your preparation for a future job
- Assess your current level of experience and where you should start—For instance, many competitive internships look for previous part-time work or leadership experience which may necessitate pursuing part-time jobs and volunteer experience to begin your path
- Explore opportunities and resources below and prepare for the application and interview process
Top Ways to Gain Experience & Find Opportunities—for all majors & careers
Career Services Resources
- GauchoLink Job Board - UCSB's official site for jobs, internships, work-study positions, and on-campus interviews.
- Career & Internship Fairs - We offer 4 large fairs throughout the year for students to network and interact with employers looking to hire UCSB students.
- On-Campus Interview (OCI) - Employers come to Career Services to recruit students for jobs and internships throughout the academic year.
- Employer Information Sessions, Workshops, & Industry Panels
- GoinGlobal - Country Career Guides and expert tools for finding employment abroad and in other U.S. states.
- Internships.com - Internship postings from companies located across all 50 states. Register for a free account using your UCSB Umail account information.
- On-Campus Jobs handout (PDF)
On-Campus & UCSB Affiliated—Internships & Related Opportunities
- Education Abroad Program - Integrate study abroad into your college academic plan and explore the many internship and volunteer opportunities available to EAP students abroad.
- Greek Life—Office of Student Life (OSL) - Get involved by joining a fraternity or soroity to take part in activities and opportunities.
- Leadership Development—Office of Student Life (OSL) - Gain practical leadership skills and experiences by getting involved in the Leadership Certificate Program and The Leadership Challenge.
- Student Organizations—Office of Student Life (OSL) - Explore organizations related to professional interests as well as the extracurricular activities you enjoy doing in your spare time.
- UCDC—The University of California Washington Program - provides UCSB students with a unique opportunity to live, work as interns, and study in our nation’s political and cultural epicenter, Washington, D.C.
- UCCS—The University of California Center in Sacramento - provides a unique experiential learning opportunity to participate in internships, academic coursework, and observe the public policy process in our state's capital.
- UCSB Undergraduate Research - Look into research programs on campus and also speak with faculty who specialize in areas you are interested in to inquire about possible opportunities.
- AS/UCSB Community Affairs Board (CAB) - Provides information and access to community service work
- United Way of Santa Barbara County - Volunteer activities locally
Opportunities by Interests
Use the categories below to research strategies, internships, and related opportunities that provide occupation and field specific training and experience.
- Arts & Media
- Business, Finance, & Entrepreneurship
- Education & Human Services
- Health Professions
- Law & Public Service
Find Leads & Create an Opportunity
Not all organizations post an internship announcement on a job board. Be proactive and identify organizations you are interested in connecting with and going directly to their company website to seek opportunities. Use resources like the book of lists in the Career Resource Room, which allows you to easily review companies by geographic region, and LinkedIn as tools to identify company leads, see where alumni interned, and connect with hiring managers.
Can't find an advertised opportunity? Create and pitch a position or project! Reach out directly to organizations to introduce yourself. For internships, research the company and similar internship/job descriptions to familiarize yourself with the necessary qualifications, projects and responsibilities of a position in the industry. Then, draft an internship pitch or proposal that outlines your goals, the types of projects you are seeking, how your professional interests and current strengths relate to the organization, and the logistics a company would need to know to evaluate their ability to host an intern. Use the Internship Toolkit to easily organize this information in preparation for a proposal.
If you are seeking other hard-to-discover opportunities besides internships, create your own experience! Meet with a faculty member to inquire about research, contact an orgazination to see if you can develop a volunteering opportunity, or start a campus organization that fufills a particular passion or career goal.