1) Develop a Strong Resume - Make sure you have a strong, clear and compelling resume and cover letter. See the Download TipsforWritingEffectiveResumes.pdf . Many university career centers also offer guidance on resumes.
2) Read Key Resources - The ACT Report, Skills, Networks and Knowledge: Careers in International Peace and Conflict Resolution offers guide to careers in the field based on interviews with over 60 organizations and practitioners. The document also offers 10 pages of resources for finding jobs, internships, scholarships and more. You can download the report for Download Webreport.pdf or at the ACT website. Another great resource is a Career Guide from Sustainability on Corporate Social Responsibility. Idealist has also developed an excellent guide to Nonprofit Careers and a separate Careers Resources Section . Also see the Idealist Guide to International Volunteerism, and the United Nations Volunteer Web.
3) Subscribe to Key Web and Job Lists - There are countless numbers of websites that provide resources on jobs and internships in the field. You should get on all or some of these sites as you will get daily or weekly updates of opportunities around the world. See the full guide to job lists in the careers section(many of which post internships) Some of the best sites include:
Alliance for Peacebuilding Member Forums
Business for Social Responsibility
Foreign Policy Association Job Board
4) Use your contacts/networks - One of the key strategies for finding a job/internship is to consult your personal and professional networks. Let your professors, colleagues and friends know that you're seeking an opportunity and perhaps they will have suggestions/contacts. University career centers and alumni can also be terrific resources.
5)Join New Networks- Joining a professional network in the field can also be a useful way to make contacts and learn about opportunities. Some relevant networks include:
Society for International Development or Society for International Development DC Chapter
Association for Conflict Resolution
Women in International Security
Peace and Justice Studies Association
6) Find and Contact Organizations Directly - Often you can find great organizations and opportunities through your own research and identify/create your own opportunities. You can find also find opportunities listed directly on an organization's website. It is important to ensure that ensure that any organization you will work with is a legitimate organization (check with friends, see who funds them, visit their website, learn about their reputation). It is possible to contact organizations (particularly smaller ones) to let them know you're interested in their work and have skills (be specific) that you believe might be of assistance.
7) Explore Fellowship Opportunities - There are many excellent fellowships/scholarships that do provide funding for independent research/volunteer work/study. Thus, don't just think about internships as a way to get field experience, but look into ways you can obtain a fellowship and perhaps as part of your study intern with local organizations and/or conduct independent research. You can find many fellowships/scholarships on this site by searching by various keywords.
8) Explore Negotiating about Opportunities - While many internships are unpaid and an organization may not have sufficient funds, you may want to explore negotiating about the terms of potential internships. For example some organizations might be able to provide housing, while other organizations might provide training opportunities, or perhaps allow you to explore publication opportunities.
9) Consider Fundraising to Support Your Opportunity - Some universities may have funding opportunities to support summer internships/field work. Perhaps you can consult your relatives and ask for small contributions to cover your basic expenses or find other creative ways to fund your experience.
10) Additional Suggestions - What are additional suggestions for finding the best internship?