How should people go about getting involved in internships and/or research opportunities during the academic ear?

4 Answers
You should ask your professors if they know of any opportunities. Also, see if there is a research/community outreach office on your campus; they can help you find an opportunity that will work for you!
Your academic department probably sends out an email blast somewhat regularly, so make sure you're receiving those notifications because many departments or academic divisions email out details of internship and job opportunities for students looking to gain experience in their field or embark on research pursuits. I don't think it's terribly difficult to find these opportunities on a college campus if your university is big on research (my university is known for its research influence, so there are always opportunities being emailed out to students who might be interested in doing a field study or taking on a research project). To find out more generally about internships, see if your university has a career center and visit that center's website to find lists of campus and off-campus internships and research opportunities. As Victoria noted, it can also be helpful to just ask one of your current or favorite professors if they know of any openings you could pursue (or even ask if they themselves are looking for a research assistant or something). The opportunities are out there if you know how and where to look!
When you're looking for internships or research during the academic year, I would take some time to adjust back to school and to ensure that you'll have time to commit to the extra work once your classes pick up. In the meantime, a lot of professors tend to send out emails at the beginning of the academic year, looking for students to help with research. Keep an eye out for these emails and talk to your academic advisor to see if there are any opportunities that they know about. Look for opportunities on or near campus so that you don't have to deal with a long commute on top of work and school. For internships, you can check out your school's career website and websites like just like you would when looking for summer opportunities.
Unfortunately, there's no quick and easy way to do this. However, there are many outlets that you can search through. I would check campus job boards or job boards in your college town. Also, attend any and all career fairs you're able to, not only to network, but also to seek intern/entry-level positions.

Also, many individuals that have good relationships with their teachers may be able to obtain research opportunities in their field. It's going to be a combination of networking and pounding the pavement, but so long as you're actively seeking something, you shouldn't have a problem landing a position.

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