One of the best things about being a college student in Los Angeles is the wide variety of amazing internship opportunities that the city can provide. From Hollywood and the entertainment industry to large corporate businesses in downtown, there’s truly something for everyone. I’m still amazed by the cool internships that I hear other students talking about, and the best thing is that when asked how they got it, most reply that they found them through their school.

The best place to start looking into finding an internship is the campus career center. Don’t get fooled by the title. While they do help students look for a career, they can also help you find internship opportunities that interest you and help you get hands-on, real world experience in a potential future career field.

There are plenty of people to help you find the type of internship you’re looking for, either for academic credit or just for personal study. The career center is a great resource to find what you’re looking for because alumni send unique opportunities to the school for current students to apply for.

If you’re looking for a more specific type of intern that applies to your major, such as public relations or engineering, look for help from the college that your major is in. They will have an even better variety of different internships that will interest you. They also have tighter connections with alumni that have recently graduated from the college and are constantly letting students know of new opportunities that have come their way.

“I seriously get e-mails every day about these really awesome internship opportunities throughout L.A., and there are these big name companies that are looking for students, even sophomores, to start interning right away,” says Alex Abels, a sophomore print journalism major at USC. “I get excited just reading them because I know that I could actually get a great internship one day.”

If you don’t have the time to walk yourself to the career development center on campus, there’s always the school Web site that can quickly direct you to endless sources to find that fabulous new internship that’s heading your way. This is also where you can sign up to get daily e-mails, informing you of new internships that have become available, and you can even specify what kind of things you are interested in.

“I think that the career center Web site is great. I think that they have a great profile system; it’s user-friendly, and it’s really full of amazing opportunities for all students,” raves Natalie Lehemen, a sophomore critical studies major at USC. “Everyone should take advantage of what your college can offer you. You never know what you could get yourself into.”

Colleges are really helpful if you want to find an internship for the summer, whether in Los Angeles or not. Make sure to start looking early, even first semester, because the super interesting internships will probably have a lot of applicants, creating tougher competition.

“It’s pretty cool, my friend got the chance to intern in Hong Kong for the whole summer, and she found out through the business school,” says Chrissy Thompson, a junior at USC. “It’s going to look really good on her resume, and she had the time of her life.”

Whatever you do, be sure to take advantage of the fact that you’re living in Los Angeles. You never know, you could find yourself getting an internship that will lead you to new interests, new places and even better, future opportunities.