Tips for Conducting an Out-of-State Internship or Job Search

By: Ellen (Career Counselor & Guest Blogger)

While most of the students who I work with plan to stay in Minnesota after graduation, I get really excited when students mention they’d like to move somewhere else. When you’re young and without many life commitments, moving elsewhere for an internship or job can be what you really need to kick-off the next stage of your adulthood. Yes, moving to a new place can be scary, and it can also be a thrilling adventure. In the past 5 years I have conducted two successful out-of-state searches (graduate summer internship and first position post-grad school), so I’m here today to share a couple of tips to help make your out-of-state internship or job search a little easier.

Out-of-State Job Search

Benefit of an Out-of-State Internship

From my experience of doing an internship at a university in Oregon, the number one benefit of doing an out-of-state internship is to figure out if you could truly “live anywhere.” Internships are short-term experiences, so it’s the perfect opportunity to venture to somewhere new. What I learned from my experience in Oregon is that I could live away from family, just not that far. When I moved into my post-grad school job search, I made the decision to stay within about a 15-hour drive of family.

Tips for Your Search

  • Do your research on the location.
    • Who do you (or people in your network) already know in a specific location?
    • Going Global has cost of living and other resources for all the major metro areas in the United States and Canada.
    • Contact UMD alums via LinkedIn (the “Find Alumni” feature is amazing for finding people). Ask about their experiences living and working in a specific city or state. They may be able to guide you to location-specific resources or tips for conducting a successful search in that location.
  • Figure out why you want to relocate. “I want to get out of Minnesota” is not a great reason, if it’s your only reason. It may be what kicks off the out-of-state search, and take some time to figure out your other reasons for moving somewhere new.
  • Use your network. Your network can include family members, friends, colleagues, professional associations, and more. True story, my internship in Oregon started by searching the membership directory of the professional association I belong to. Do people in your network live in any of the locations you are looking at? They could help you by sharing information about the city, local scoop about organizations, great places to find housing, and transitioning to living in the new location. Knowing at least one person in your new location can be really helpful for having a successful transition to the new place.
  • Check out the Chamber of Commerce directory of the city where you’d like to relocate. Find what organizations are located in that city.
  • Use national and local job boards. Often, national job boards can cost money that not all organizations want to spend. Local job boards might have more opportunities listed. Make sure that your search plan includes both types of job boards.
  • Make a point to include on your resume and/or cover letter your reasoning or plans to relocate. Here’s a sample sentence I included in a cover letter to address this point, “I am excited to potentially have the opportunity to be in the Denver area and to connect students with opportunities in the local community.”
  • Meet with one of the career counselors in our office to start working on your out-of-state internship or job search plan.
  • Enjoy the adventure!

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