There are two primary ways which you can source your summer internship and full-time job: (i) on-campus, with large firms coming to campus for interviews (think investment banks, global companies, consulting), and (ii) off-campus, where you determine the job you want and network your way into it.
The main advantage of the on-campus process is that it is straightforward. Firms post jobs on the Tuck job site, and you attend events held on campus (as well as some off campus, like industry treks) to learn more about the company and determine if it is a good fit for your goals. You then apply for the job and interview if the company finds a good fit. Another advantage of the on-campus search is you can test out a variety of industries and companies by simply attending company briefings and on-campus network events. Although on-campus searches benefit from a clear path and known deadlines, they are still tremendous amounts of work. I am focusing off campus, but I am continuously amazed at the persistence, time and thought my friends and classmates put into their on-campus searches. With such a wide array of high-quality companies recruiting on campus, it is hard to narrow it down.
The off-campus search is for those targeting smaller companies that may not recruit heavily at business schools, or which may hire only one intern or full-time hire per year. I am currently working on reaching out to second-year students, alumni, family, friends and former colleagues to try and find an internship that fits my goal of staying in private equity after Tuck. Are there job postings I can look at? Not often. Is there a prescribed set of steps to take? Not really. There are, however, a multitude of helpful alumni and second-year students willing to share their time and advice with me, as well as an extremely dedicated career office with knowledge of best practices and numerous industry contacts to help you in your search. The off-campus process is weighted toward the end of the first year, so it takes a certain level of patience and faith in the system. While I may be envious when many of my classmates have secured a summer internship come February, I am (trying to be!) confident that with persistence I will find--or create--the ideal opportunity to achieve my career goals.