How Many Internships Should I Apply To? The Answer Here

how many internships should i apply to

Wondering how many internships you should apply for? We’ve got the answer here. It’s not as complicated as you might think, as well.

Yes, it’s true, finding a job or an internship is absolutely a numbers game. It’s about how many you apply for, how many interviews you go on and how many offers you end up getting.

But what’s recommended is starting to think in a more targeted way when applying for internships.

Create A Target List

This is the most important thing you can do, create a target list of companies that are hiring summer interns. What makes them a “target” or ideal company to apply for is when you have a particular set of skills or experience that lined up with the company or industry. Do yourself a favor and spend some time thinking through what companies will get the most value of what you can offer.

Here’s what you’ll want to do:

It’s Not Just Quantity

The point here is that it’s not simply about quantity. If you truly want to land the internship, it will require you to spend time reaching out to the hiring manager and team members asking them if you can interview. Going the distance and telling them why you’ll make an exceptional intern will increase your chances of being hired by at least 50%.

How Many Should I Apply For

When thinking about your list of prospect companies, try to fill your sheet with at least 50 companies. This should be possible to do. Some will be less applicable to your career path than you might want. But that’s okay. Any experience is going to be a good experience for you.

If you can’t find 50 companies, consider finding at least 20 which are going to be closer to your targeted list of companies. Meaning, if you have a list of 20 companies inside your spreadsheet, ideally 10 of them are on your target list.

Anything less than that number will greatly decrease your chances. Remember, it’s a numbers game but also a game of how much effort you put forth. Having the target list will let you determine where to put your efforts.

Internship Resources

author: patrick algrim
About the author

Patrick Algrim is an experienced executive who has spent a number of years in Silicon Valley hiring and coaching some of the world’s most valuable technology teams. Patrick has been a source for Human Resources and career related insights for Forbes, Glassdoor, Entrepreneur,, SparkHire, and many more.


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