Advice on Finding Summer Internships

It’s March Madness. No, not college basketball season. Internship finding season. People post on Facebook where they got accepted, you hover over your email waiting for an acceptance, others scramble to get their last minute applications in… Sound familiar? As I approach my third and final summer as an undergrad student, I reflect on a thing or two I’ve learned along the way.

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I spent last summer at Bryn Mawr

Here’s how the internship search goes: (this was me as a first year vs. now)

Then: “Maybe I’ll try to find something near home so I can be with friends and family.”
Now: “I DON’T CARE WHERE IT IS. ACCEPT ME AND I WILL MOVE.”

Then: “I think I’ll take this summer to explore a bit. I don’t know what I’m doing.”
Now: “I’VE WASTED MY PAST SUMMERS! I NEED THIS INTERNSHIP FOR MY CAREER NOW. ACCEPT ME.”

Then: “It’d be nice to make some $$.”
Now: “UNPAID? NO PROBLEM. I’LL MAKE IT WORK.”

Then: “Summer is so long.” 
Now: 
“SUMMER IS SO SHORT.”



WHERE TO START:



FUNDING:



OTHER QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER:

  • Do you want to study abroad? Will you have a chance to study abroad during the school year? Or will you have to do it over the summer/after college?
  • How can you maintain relationships with your employers/mentors after your internship/externship ends? I knew a student who was offered a summer research position with an alum after a Spring break externship with her.
  • Why are you interested in a certain program? How does it fit into your personal and professional goals? (this question is asked on pretty much every application)
  • Do you have any hobbies or extracurriculars that could some how relate to an internship or program you are interested in?
  • When are your application deadlines? Don’t wait last minute to ask for letters of recommendations!
  • Are you aware of what people around you are doing/applying to? Maybe they know more about a specific program you are interested in. Maybe they did the program and can tell you about their experiences.
  • If you didn’t get in this year, how can you strengthen your application to apply next year? Sometimes the directors offer informal feedback on your application.

So there you go. The answers I wish I knew sooner. You’re welcome.

There are a ton of internships/programs I should have applied to. There are a ton of internships/programs I have applied to multiple times. I know it’s discouraging to apply to programs the second or third time around when maybe you feel like you should have outgrown that program already. So go on to bigger, better things, but always apply to some backups.

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