Searching for summer internships can be a challenging experience for George Mason University students. Melinda Villagran, professor of communication, has made the search easier through her online database DCinternNet.

Created in the summer of 2009, DCinternNet provides Washington-area internship listings for students, who subscribe for free. Villagran calls the project “a service to students.”

Villagran envisioned the idea of DCinternNet when demonstrating needs analysis with students during a communication consulting course. Having performed the analysis, students realized the difficulty of finding good internships.

“D.C.-area companies are looking for good interns,” Villagran said. “Students want good internships. But students and companies can’t connect with each other.”

And so, DCinternNet was born. Currently, thousands of students subscribe nationwide.
Villagran emphasizes that DCinternNet is unique.

“Nothing like it exists,” she said. “Other internship databases make users pay fees.”

Additionally, DCinternNet ensures that a posted internship is a good educational and professional opportunity, not menial labor.

According to Villagran, time is the hardest part of maintaining DCinternNet.

“We can make DCinternNet bigger and better if we just have the time,” she said.

Villagran said she hears about students’ successful internship experiences, which for her is fulfilling.

“We need people who completed internships to tell DCinternNet,” Villagran said. “One of the best ways to help build an internship network is to have students who got internships through DCinternNet let us know.”

Villagran said internships are important for education and professional development.

“Internships are your first step into a career and a very important piece of your undergraduate education,” she said.

Villagran said good internships go fast and students need to think about the type of organization to which they want to apply.

Students interested in subscribing to DCinternNet can visit