You get three summers in college so planning ahead is key to making them count. My first college summer, I spent working a part-time job. Sure, it was great to live at home and save some pizza money for the next year, but nothing really got accomplished except rekindling high school roles. I knew I wanted to spend my last summer studying abroad, so I got down to business sophomore year finding an internship.
It's not as easy as they make it sound.
First, internships come in every shape and size. From paid to non-paid, from a full 40-hour week to a once-a-week drop in, and from positions as the coffee-runner to handling real projects, landing an internship that will benefit you takes work.
Step 1: Pick an industry. Yes, it is safe and responsible to assume that if you're an accounting major, you're interested in accounting firms. But remember internships are also used as exploratory experiences. They are just as much about finding what you're not interested in as finding what you are.
Step 2: Apply, apply, apply. Go to career fairs. Look at internship postings on websites. Look at specific companies you're interested in. It takes work, and it takes time but it will pay off.
Step 3: Weigh your options. Think about what you want to learn during the experience, if you think you'll learn those things at the places you applied, and also consider location. Don't feel too pressured because after all, this isn't a permanent position. However, if it is a good fit for you and company, it just might be!