Internship and Job Search Advice from the Class of 2017 Internship Panels

Economics Career Office

Job Search Advice from the Class of 2017 Internship Panels (Academic Year 2016-2017)

Job Search

  • Apply anywhere you are interested in the position. If they [the organization] doesn’t want you, that’s their decision. Don’t make the decision for them. [Customize your resume and cover letter for each submission.]
  • Attend Employer Information Sessions [found in Handshake].
  • [If you are interested in a global experience] Get $ from the Office of Global Internships.
  • Consider alternatives to investment banking and management consulting.
  • Consider economic consulting.
  • Check out an organization before interviewing and continue to assess it as you intern. If it’s not a good fit, that is ok.
  • Don’t just chase prestige. Prestige doesn’t equal a good opportunity that’s right for you.
  • Don’t undersell yourself; you have a lot to offer.
  • Think about business development jobs.
  • Don’t worry about rejection [with job applications, at career fairs, info sessions].
  • Draw on your skill set and build your story about how you built that skillset.
  • Use and the Pathways program (when they are active).


  • Learn how to sell yourself; work with a career center or a mentor or a friend.
  • Be prepared for interviews but don’t overthink. This can stress you out.
  • In a case interview or interview with a math problem, talk it out, out loud.
  • Take pride in your accomplishments.
  • Practice. In front of the mirror, with others, InterviewStream (through Handshake).
  • Learn the language of the industry/ies you want to enter and learn to think and speak using it.
  • To prepare, create a document with everything you know about the org and people you’ve met – like prepping for an exam.
  • Participate in a mock interview with a career center or through an alum program.

Other Skill Building

  • Determine the skills you will need and seek out opportunities.
  • For data analysis consider the stats minor.
  • Take econometrics, and the associated project, seriously. Get a lot out of it.
  • Classes can be taken outside of U.Va. online for free with MOOCS and while you are U.Va. students. Try uncubed.
  • Consider data analysis as a core skill to build.
  • Supplement your econ course work with real world experience such as externships and internships.

Getting Involved

  • Keep your eye on your GPA, but try things out during the academic year, especially if you don’t know what you want to do.
  • Participate in an internship in Charlottesville or a job on Grounds.
    • Look into UIP, the University Internship Program, for internships during the academic year and in Charlottesville or Ireland.- Yes, that's right, Ireland


  • Talk to people.
  • Use the ECO network and Alumni and Friends list in Collab.
  • Keep a spreadsheet of organizations and people and where they are in your pipeline.
  • Attend employer info sessions.
  • Once you have an internship or summer experience – talk to people within the organization and in other organizations in the city where you’re living.
  • Talk to your professors; become friendly with them; ask their advice; they want to help you.
  • Personal networking is important; I found one experience because my supervisor [from academic-year job in Cville] gave me a list of all of the big Charlottesville employers that hire interns.
  • Use your UVA alum and student network through Hoosonline, LinkedIn, VAM - Virginia Alumni Mentoring.

General Advice

  • Stretch yourself [in the internship and job search process] and on the job.
  • Consider the UVA MBI (McIntire Business Institute) online program, but only if you will make the most of it.
  • Build up a folder [or some kind of tool] for holding the jobs you are interested in or apply for.
  • Set up goals and priorities at the beginning of the semester.
  • Become self-reliant.
  • Build your story. [Goes along with selling yourself.]
  • Do weird things. [That is – things that may be unusual. One panelist was involved in Woofing, one panelist traveled to Australia.]
  • Invest in yourself and get to know yourself. You’ll be able to talk about yourself more confidently [and will find opportunities that are a good fit for you].