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.
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 $$.”
Now: “UNPAID? NO PROBLEM. I’LL MAKE IT WORK.”
Then: “Summer is so long.”
Now: “SUMMER IS SO SHORT.”
WHERE TO START:
- Start with finding internships/programs your school has to offer. They are usually the best funded and sometimes are only open to Bryn Mawr students. Or look at what the Bi-Co/Tri-Co/Quaker Consortium has to offer. They usually save a few spaces for Bryn Mawr students.
- Bryn Mawr-Nanyang Summer School (all inclusive)
- Haverford CPGC (all inclusive, BMC international programs only)
- Bryn Mawr Summer of Service (stipend)
- Bryn Mawr Summer Science Research (stipend)
- Penn Clinical and Translational Summer Research (stipend)
- Mellon Digital Curriculum Internship (stipend)
- Bryn Mawr Avignon ($$$)
- Pensby Summer Fellowship (stipend)
- Special Collections (stipend)
- Search your school’s resources:
- Search other school’s career/internship search services. (Note: some are password protected.)
- Look at Ivy League resources and other top liberal arts college resources
- Consider Federal Government Jobs
- Consider volunteering
- Consider taking summer classes
- Pay a visit to LILAC/CPD/Pre-Professional Advising for personalized search
- join the Pre-Health listserv for email blasts for internships
- Google is your friend, so is your network. Thanks, mom.
- Hanna Holburn Gray Social Sciences Research Fellowships
- LILAC Summer Funding
- Summer Study Abroad Funding: Judy Loomis Gould & Thomas Raeburn White
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.