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Is It Too Late to Hire an Intern? A Guide to Internship Season

Written by Angela Finding

Depending on when you’re reading this, you might be in a panic. You desire an intern, but fear that it’s not “internship season,” the most appropriate and easiest time to find an intern for your organization.

While it is true that some time periods are better for hiring interns than others, the seasonal nature of internships isn’t as prohibitive as you might think. This guide will help you understand not only the best times to seek new interns, but what to do if you need or want an intern during an off period.

Semester Duration

Most interns are currently in college, or freshly out of it. Accordingly, most prospective interns seek internships around the same time they schedule classes, about a semester ahead of time.

  • Fall semesters usually start in August or September and run through the end of December.
  • Spring semesters usually start in January and run through May or early June.
  • Many interns also seek summer internships, to fill the void between May-June and August-September.

By this schedule, your peak times to post internships are 2-3 months before a period begins, or June (for fall semester internships), October (for spring semester internships), or February (for summer internships). However, it’s also important to remember that there’s little to no downside in posting your internship early—the earlier you post, the more applicants you’re likely to receive.

High school students are also viable candidates for internships.  Check with school district teachers and guidance counselors to determine if your internship is a match for a talented high school student and what the best work schedule might be.

Did I Miss Out?

Even if you’ve missed the “peak” times for a specific season, there’s no need to worry. Most businesses and organizations hire interns year-round, and there’s no shortage of prospective interns to choose from. You can post an internship at any time and stand a high likelihood of receiving a satisfactory number of applicants. You can also reach out directly to a college’s career services department which can communicate directly to students who might best fit your internship. Besides, if you’re desperate to hit a peak period, you can always wait for the next cycle to come back around.

There aren’t strict seasons or time-bound guidelines for hiring interns, but it does pay to observe the natural cycles of semesters. Hitting a peak hiring period can help you maximize your incoming applications, but you can post internship openings all year to a similar effect.

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