EducationSkills

The spring semester is going to start soon, and for some, it already has. Many of you might be considering doing internships this semester. A while ago, I did a piece about the end of summer internships. This one is about the beginning of spring ones! Here are a few things to keep in mind while preparing and applying to spring semester internships, especially in large cities.

Research.

Think about what type of internship you want to do. Social media, computer science, photography, editorial, public relations, you name it. Do you want to work on something in your field of study, or are you considering trying something new? What do internships tend to require? Experience in certain programs, making tweets, or proofreading? This will help you in your search and it will help you with preparing your resume and cover letter later on. Since you’re in a city, you want to make sure that you also open minded to start­-ups, places outside of your borough or local area, and positions that overlap. You also have to consider whether something is paid or not, if there is credit, and if the two -hour commute is worth it. Can you fit it into your schedule?

“Stalk.”

Said my professor. Yes, you spend a lot of time on the computer when you’re thinking about internships, and a lot of it is clicking around. Once you have an idea of what you want to do and a few companies for which you want to work, you should Google them. For example, if you want to write for a magazine, look up the editors. Look at the company’s mission statement and branch. Find the Twitter or LinkedIn or company website. This way, you will know a bit about the company but also a bit about who you will be working under. At first, back in my freshmen days, I was unsure about this, but multiple professors and people who work have told me it is definitely normal (and even expected) so no worries. You can go take a look at where the office is and see if the neighborhood is somewhere you would be willing to spend your time in. Can you buy lunch somewhere nearby? Is there a train station nearby? What kind of people are walking around? Casual younger people or older people in suits? You’ll be among them.

Create.

Create your persona. Make or edit your resume to suit your needs. Design it so it somehow represents who you are and how you work. Design interns design their resumes to be unique, but multi-­colored resumes wouldn’t work for a finance intern. Check your social media to make sure it is consistent. Get some appropriate clothes for the interview. You don’t have to wear black heels through a snowstorm or a suit in the summer, but make sure your nails are clean, your hair is washed, and your bag is suitable to both hold copies of your resume while looking appropriate for the office.

If you’re in a large city, you might want to consider adding some flair to your outfit so you can stand out. You’ll be competing with all the other university students (as well as people who have already graduated). The fashion interns I’ve met have been pretty unique, but not office appropriate. Again, this is where your research comes in! Maybe that’s alright for where you’re applying for. This preparation helps with interview questions that range from “Why do you want to work with us?” to “Tell me about yourself.”

Getting an internship, especially in big cities, can be pretty difficult. It starts out slow, but once you have a foundation, it becomes easier. It can be scary and it’s definitely competitive, but all of that becomes easier to deal with with practice. When something doesn’t work, try and try again. Best of luck!

Image: Chris Isherwood

Travel

Summers are underrated. Relaxing under the sun, hanging out with friends, seeing movies whenever you feel like them, and worst of all desperately attempting to avoid work all lead down a high speed road until you’re plopped back into the fall at work or at school and wonder what you’re doing with your life.

For me personally, I am staring the inevitable death of summers right in the face, as I prepare for my senior year of college. But no matter what situation might bring you towards your last summer vacation, what’s important is that you make the most of it.

Here are some ideas for how to make the most out of any summer, and avoid that downhill tumble into September:

1. Make fitness a priority.

The hardest part about exercise is getting it into a part of your daily routine. The dog days of summer are the perfect time to set yourself up for the busier seasons ahead by installing an exercise plan throughout the week. It feels like work, but after awhile the habit will kick in. You’ll want to go for a run rather than need to. Whether it’s to stay in shape or just to keep your mind sharp, exercise is a valuable asset to any go-getter’s arsenal.

2. Mix up your environment.

You’ll have the rest of your life to work in a typical office experience. While getting any professional experience will be incredibly valuable in the future, try to find it in an avenue that’s possibly more of a peripheral interest, or that’ll challenge you in ways your aspiring career might not. I’ll give you a personal example.  During my last summer, I have spent my days as a Creative Writing Intern for a small video game company. Though I’ve always enjoyed both writing and video games, I had never fully combined them into one workday until this experience. I feel like its really broadened my preexisting skillset, and opened a door to a potential career field I hadn’t initially thought about.

3. Keep an idea journal.

One of the most powerful things humans have are ideas. Keeping a journal of your day-to-day ideas keeps them under your control and in your hands. Big or small, easy or difficult, all ideas should be saved. You never know when an idea will come, or when the timing is right to seize on it. Write it down.

4. Take advantage of a flexible schedule.

The last summer also presents the ominous prospect of potentially leaving your home or your hometown. Take some time to revisit landmarks from the past,and to discover new places and possibilities too! The flexible schedule of the summer will leave you with some space to get out of your house and your comfort zone. Sleeping in is always an incredible option, but when you’re young and the world is this old, you gotta take advantage of all it has to offer.

5. Set away time for fun.

At the end of the day, this is still summer vacation. I know it’s hard to remember that second part. But it’s still there! When the waning summer days start to get hectic, give yourself the space to recharge in whatever outlet you find best. Binge a television show you’ve always wanted to binge. Read. Sometimes the best thing you can do to further your professional goals is to achieve your recreational ones. You should love the work you do, but don’t forget to love your life, too.

How have you been making the most of your summer?

Image: Jay Mantri

Travel

This is amazing! It’s your first summer in New York City. You’re here for pre­-college classes, checking out universities, taking summer courses, interning, working, or simply shopping, eating, and being a tourist. It’s the city that never sleeps, a place romanticized by movies and glorified by those who live here.

Well. Sort of. If you know anything about NYC, you know it has its rough patches. New Yorkers are known for their direct and fast paced attitudes, always rushing around stylishly but quickly. In the summer, the tempo of the city changes. Tourists flood in and some New Yorkers leave. But those who stay, like yours truly, are forced to weather through some of the not­-so-­pleasant things about being in NYC in the summer. These are a few things you should know before coming to New York City.

1. It is hot.

That explains everything. The grouchy taxi drivers. The simmering concrete. The wet sensation under your arms and the uncomfortable chill of the train if you’ve been sitting too long. NYC summers are hot. Commuting feels nasty. This year has been pretty tame, but usually the temperature hits triple digits. NYC summers are hit­-the­beach, break-­the-­fire­-hydrant, egg­-on-­the-­sidewalk hot. Advice: drink water, stay indoors or have indoor trips until 3pm­ish, and pack lightly. Mornings around 7-­9am and evenings around 6-­8pm are commuter hours and you don’t want to be stuck next to the sweaty businessman and a woman with her crying baby. I recommend that you do your summer intensives or other courses during a more relaxed time in case you have to lug supplies or textbooks around. If you insist on going outside, keep the heat in mind.

2. Watch out for mosquitoes.

Yes. Mosquitoes. Did you think that being in a city full of skyscrapers and asphalt would save you from those little monsters? You’re sadly mistaken. I sit here telling you to beware of the mosquitoes, but I have five bites on my legs just from walking to the grocery store. What’s so unique about NYC mosquitoes? They’re intense. My friend from the West coast says that they are nastier biters here than where she’s from, so be warned!

Even as a seasoned New Yorker, I haven’t overcome this itchy nightmare. It does not matter who you are or where you’re going. If you breathe and if you have blood, you’re going to be mosquito food. You can either simply accept that you’ll get bitten (as I have) or you can avoid going outside, especially at night. The crazy thing is they seem to be everywhere, even indoors and in the middle of the day. They cling to people’s clothing, and with all the moving around, it’s no wonder they are everywhere. There are bug sprays and lotions you can use to keep mosquitoes away, but there really isn’t an escape. Best of luck.

3. Avoid moving­-in nightmares.

If you’re a college student looking to live outside the dorms for the semester, you better find an apartment, and fast! Students who are coming back for fall are going to start moving, or moving back, and you want to make sure you find somewhere to stay during this rush. Start looking for places now and if you’re lucky, you’ll find something you like within your budget.

New York is a great place to spend the summer if you know your way around. Even if you don’t, you’ll get the hang of where you are and what trains to take quickly. There are a lot of things to do and see, and as long as you’re aware of how to take care of yourself, you will be just fine. Remember to stay hydrated and to take it easy. Enjoy the city, and make it a summer to remember!

Image: Unsplash

CultureInspiration

There it is. The middle of July has just passed (gasp!), and summer is in full blown effect. Instagram is loaded with friends going on vacation in France or drinking mimosas on the beach. When you aren’t shopping for your bikini top, you’re probably making money to buy one. If you aren’t looking up the cutest outfits for your summer office internship, you’re probably actually at it. But what if you’re in a slump? You only get as far as the interview, and your inbox has been gathering dust. Or maybe there’s personal stuff going on and making a decision like that is the last thing on your mind.

Hey. That’s okay.

This summer is for you. Your time to do what you need to do. Sometimes you need to slow down the pace before you can pick it back up, and sometimes what you’re looking for is right around the corner and you just have to get there, one step at a time. This summer is clay and you can take it in your hands and do whatever you want to it. You can mold your time to be slow and easy and relaxing, or design it to be fast-­paced and exciting. You don’t have to work or intern for it to be yours. There’s a world of things to do and and it’s waiting for you.

If you’re feeling envious of your friends abroad, make it a mission for yourself to explore your city and to get to know it as much as you can. Teach yourself a new language. Watch foreign films. Find a place where you’re comfortable and draw in a sketchbook your own world.

This summer is your space, your zone. Take it easy and work through what you need to work through. Be gentle with yourself. Love yourself and take care of yourself. If you’re not ready to take the world on just yet, then don’t. One step at a time. Take a walk around the block, then around the park, then the beach. Make yourself a small breakfast, then a healthy one, and eat it with satisfaction.

Don’t worry about what other people are doing, or what they’re saying, or what they’re thinking. Everybody goes at their own pace and so should you. Don’t worry if nothing is working out, soon it will. Don’t worry if you feel like you’re falling behind, you’re not. Don’t worry if you need time for yourself this summer, take it and it’s yours. Make this summer about being happy and healthy, and don’t worry about the rest.

Image: Unsplash

EducationSkills

It’s summer! You get to sleep in, waking to the sound of chirping birds, sunlight coming through the windows, illuminating your room. You wake up with bed hair and you stumble out of your bed, walking past the pile of dirty laundry and bowl of cereal you went to get in the middle of the night. Your desk is a mess. Nail polish bottles, papers, pencils, eraser dust, an earring missing its sister, a collection of bracelets, a chipped cup, a photo of you and your friends, Post-Its that have lost their stick…

Listen. You’re a lovely and awesome person, but it’s time for an intervention. It’s time… to clean your room. Summer is a great time to clean your room or workspace. You can get rid of old things and prepare for the next semester. There are some things you can do to make it easy for you to keep your room clean until September, without making your room too sparse or boring.

When most people clean their room, they clean their closet. But there are other parts of your room that you can’t neglect. You have that Economics textbook propping up your laptop. The Victorian novels you bought for Lit class are scattered on three shelves and you probably spent $200 buying all of those last semester.

Students often forget (or don’t have time) to sell their textbooks at the end of each semester. Finals can get in the way, or going back home/going abroad will be more of a priority than a few books lying around. But unless they’re on a shelf (and you’ll be using them again), there isn’t any reason to keep them. There are many options to sell them, either back to the school’s bookstore or online.

Speaking of things you’ll need again, you might want to sort through all your notes. Some students use a laptop and save their docx. or PDFs there. Luddites like me like to print things out (sorry trees!) and write notes on them before putting them in a folder. All those papers scattered in your room? The Post­Its reminding of you an upcoming final? The pens that dried out because you lost the pen cap? (I prefer clicky pens myself) This is a good chance to go through what you want to keep (or not keep) and delete/throw out what you don’t want.

Laptop users, this is a good time to back up your data! You might unexpectedly need that final paper’s works cited page again, or you might get a handout that you’ve gotten before. I like to back data up every half a semester, but the summer is the best time to do it. You might want to tune-up your computer and all that techy stuff while you’re at it!

This time of the year is a good chance for you to make a workspace for yourself. If you’ve been living off your bed with laptop in lap, you might have found yourself falling asleep while doing a paper (sounds familiar?). If your desk space was cramped up with dirty laundry, old lip gloss, and a dusty printer, well, it should all cleaned up and free for you to use. If you create a workspace, it will help you concentrate.

Remember, if you always push your chair in after you use it, it won’t be piled up with clothes and other things. Keep a container for pens and other office supplies, and make sure your printer is in a spot that’s easy to access. Ink is also easy to refill, so always have that somewhere in case you have to emergency­print a handout or something. Things like that can distract you from working during the school year, and if you start the habit this summer, you are more likely to maintain it (and get to know where everything is) by fall.

Now that your room looks like it’s ready for summer fun, as well as for the next semester, there are a few things you can do to keep it that way. Next week, I will share my tips on how to maintain your organized space.

Read Summer Action Item – Clean Your Room: Part I

Image: Kikette Interiors

CultureSkills

It’s summer! You get to sleep in, waking to the sound of chirping birds, sunlight coming through the windows, illuminating your room. You wake up with bed hair and you stumble out of your bed, walking past the pile of dirty laundry and bowl of cereal you went to get in the middle of the night. Your desk is a mess. Nail polish bottles, papers, pencils, eraser dust, an earring missing its sister, a collection of bracelets, a chipped cup, a photo of you and your friends, Post-Its that have lost their stick…

Listen. You’re a lovely and awesome person, but it’s time for an intervention. It’s time… to clean your room. Summer is a great time to clean your room or workspace. You can get rid of old things and prepare for the next semester. There are some things you can do to make it easy for you to keep your room clean until September, without making your room too sparse or boring.

Where I live, the summers are 100 degrees and the winters are three. New York is a challenge for a closet because there is such a drastic difference and sometimes you feel like you need everything. If you live in a place like that, this would be a good chance to sort through your closet, accessories, and jewelry.

You’ll be surprised by what you find. That blue off-­the-­shoulder top? The t-­shirt from summer camp. That pair of jeans with the hole by the butt. Riiiight, I forgot I had that! If you haven’t worn it in a while, chances are, you won’t wear it again. You can totally sell or donate stuff, and that would free up closet space!

I live near an Ikea and they have a super great section just for organizing things. I love silver sterling necklaces, but they always get tangled. You should find a way to store special accessories, such as silk scarves or cute hats, so they won’t get crushed or damaged.

One more thing. That nail polish that’s been sitting there for about three years that you haven’t touched, the one where the color has separated with the un­open­able top? Toss it. The mascara that’s gathered dust by the foot of your bed? Toss it. Summer’s a good chance to go through expired makeup or other chemical­ish things that you put on your body.

Your body changes from season to season, and from month to month. Sometimes you have to accept the new tan or the sudden dry skin and find products that are healthy and good for you. You want to look your best, and you can’t have that if you have a rash from expired concealer! Remember to wash your makeup tools (ugh, germs…) and store them somewhere dry and safe (and away from pets!).

Next week, we will discuss that textbook you have propping up your laptop and those books that you’ve been using to keep the window open.

Photo via You Make Me Swoon

EducationSkills

Counting down the days until you are free from the vice-like grip of your job or internship? Dissatisfied with the work you are being asked to do? Wishing time would pass faster? We’ve all been there, and it really is no way to spend your time. Instead of using your energy being dissatisfied with your internship, use that energy to figure out how to make your internship work. Here are some tips to make the most of your internship when you are feeling frustrated with it:

1. Grab Lunch with People in Other Areas of the Company

If you are working in a certain division of a company, talk to people who work in other divisions. For example, if you work in the script reading division of a film production company, ask people in the marketing, finance, Human Resources, talent, and production divisions to go to lunch. You can walk up to someone or send a quick email introducing yourself. Be grateful for the time people give you, and meet with the intent of learning more about how those people got to where they are in their careers. This is a great way to network internally at your internship and to make the most of your time there. Even if you aren’t dissatisfied with your internship (or job), this is a smart way to meet more people and gain insight.

2. Focus on the Good and Write Down Positive Things That Are Happening

When you are frustrated, it’s easy to get pulled into a negativity spiral. Step back from your disappointment that the internship isn’t what you thought it would be, and instead focus on the things that are going well. Did you make a new friend? Did you deliver a project before the deadline? Was it a nice sunny walk to work? Pay attention to the little positive things, and you’ll see when you write them down that things might not be so bad after all. You might also try starting a gratitude journal for this same purpose.

3. Ask Your Boss for More (or Different) Responsibilities

Do you think your workload could be heavier? Too much free time? Maybe you see something that would be interesting to try? Once you determine whether you need more responsibilities, or maybe just a different project on your plate, approach your boss with a game plan. Have a clear “ask” and know what you want to say. If you approach your boss with an open-ended loose idea, he or she might think you aren’t serious or ready for more responsibilities. Ask for something specific and explain why you are feeling this way and how you would accomplish the tasks. If your boss approves, you now have a new exciting project to add to the original tasks that weren’t satisfying you. Even though you still have to get the other work done, your new tasks will help you break up the day and test new skills.

4. Be Honest with Your Boss About Expectations and Reality

If you are truly frustrated with the way things are happening in your internship or you feel like the job you applied for isn’t quite what you are being assigned, talk to your boss about it. Your time is precious and you should be making the most of it. While it’s important to pay your dues, you shouldn’t be spending every day for three months cleaning walls and getting coffee for people. You need to be learning and challenging yourself.

5. Take Initiative (While Also Getting Your Work Done)

If you see something around the office that needs to get done, be a self-starter and offer to do it without anyone having to ask. Be sure to get your main duties finished first, but then once those are completed, you have a project where you can shine and show initiative. This is a great way to be a rockstar at your internship even when you might feel dissatisfied with it.

6. Make Friends

Befriend the other interns or entry-level people you work with. Ask them to grab lunch or dinner after work. Is there a fun networking or social event this weekend or weeknight that looks interesting? Ask someone from work to join you! Having friends at work will help your internship feel more fulfilling.

7. This Internship is Temporary

Oftentimes, we figure out what we want to do by figuring what we don’t want to do. Even though you are disappointed with your internship, treat it as a learning experience for what you do not want to do. It’s a good lesson to learn now when you haven’t invested too much time or money into it. Additionally, once you realize that you only have a certain number of days of your internship left, you may start to feel inspired to make the most of it.

8. Create Healthy Competition with Yourself

When I feel frustrated with repetitive work, I create a healthy competition with myself. I try to get the work done faster than I did the previous day or see if there is a new strategy I can implement to accomplish the work. Setting goals against the work you did on previous days will keep you feeling sharp and attentive.

9. Plan After-Work Activities

When your days are filled with work you are not passionate about, they can feel long. Plan after-work activities to help keep you excited throughout the day. Search for networking or social events in your area, plan a dinner with a co-worker or friend, or catch a movie. There are many things you can organize after work that will help keep you from feeling too bummed out.

Bonus Tip #10: For Future Internships, Truly Know What You’re Getting Into

When you are applying for future internships, really understand what you are getting into. Just as the company interviews you, interview the company and ask them questions so you get a feel for what you will actually be doing on the job. Talk to other people who have interned at the company to hear what they have to say about their experience. Companies will be getting value from you during your internship, and you should gain value from your internships, as well. Ask lots of questions, do research, and if you can, ask to spend a day with a member of the team you are interested in to get a feel for what your summer, fall, or spring will look like.

How do you make things work when you are dissatisfied?

CultureEducation

Happy summer! Now that the school year is over for several months, it’s time to kick back and read the books you’ve had to put off for essays and exams. Whether you’re on an airplane, on the beach, or in a cozy chair next to the window, pick up one of these summer reads and enjoy! P.S. Did you have a chance to read any books off of the spring reading list?

1. My Salinger Year by Joanna Rakoff

We can’t get enough of memoirs, and this one looks juicy and captivating. Rakoff recalls her experiences in New York City working for J.D. Salinger. We bet this story will be captivating from the first page to the last.

2. The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer

We’ve seen this book around for a while but have yet to read it. This story about six teenagers at a summer camp for the arts and how they grow into middle age looks like a great slice-of-life novel. We’re excited to see how these six friendships change as life progresses, especially through the complexities of each character.

3. The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown

Talk about an inspiring read. The Boys in the Boat tells the story of nine Americans and their quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics. We love stories about beating the odds, hard work, perseverance, and true grit.

4. How Not to Be Wrong: The Power of Mathematical Thinking by Jordan Ellenberg

It doesn’t matter if you love math or hate math. How Not to Be Wrong shows us how math is intertwined with everything we do with a fascinating perspective. With chapters like “What to Expect When You’re Expecting to Win the Lottery” and “Dead Fish Don’t Read Minds,” color us intrigued. Math may not have been our strongest subject in high school, but we have a feeling we might start to like it now.

5. We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

We Were Liars is the story about a wealthy family who meets on their private island every summer. A book appropriate for summer, this book has suspense, true love, and a gripping plot. Sounds good to us!

We’d love to know, what are you reading this summer?

EducationSkills

Summer will be here before you know it, and soon enough you will be getting ready to start the internship you have worked so hard to secure. Being an intern is awesome when you have opportunities to learn from your bosses, take the lead on projects, and accept important responsibilities. Before the first day of your internship, you might feel worried or anxious about being great and impressing people. You want to show your bosses that you are capable and determined, and that you will help the company succeed. You also want to learn as much as you can and grow both personally and professionally. Everyone has their own unique internship experiences and approach jobs differently. However, through our internships and the advice we’ve heard from others,  there are traits that employers look for in their interns that make them stand out apart from the others.  We like to call these awesome interns rockstars. Be yourself and do the job the way you think is best, but remember that there’s always room to grow and improve. Strive to practice these traits to not only be a rockstar intern, but to also be a better person.

1. Reliable.

Your bosses and co-workers should be able to trust you with projects they assign you. They should know that you will be early or on time, and that you will always follow through with what you say. When you are reliable, you will earn more respect and start getting more responsibilities. A rockstar intern is someone people can count on.

2. Eager to Learn.

Never stop learning. Be excited to learn a new skill or topic, and show your eagerness through energy, focus, and dedication.

3. Collaboration.

It is important to work well with others in an office environment. Work together to share ideas and drive results.

4. Hardworking.

Demonstrate how committed you are to learning and to your career. Roll up your sleeves, do every job asked of you with great care, and always volunteer to help even if something isn’t in your job description.

5. Productive.

Be efficient with your tasks. Think of ways you can be even more productive with your time, and make the most of every minute. Take ownership of your work, your day, and yourself.

6. Dedicated.

Show that you are dedicated to the company and your work by showing up early and being the last to leave. Or show that you are dedicated by bringing new ideas to your boss. When you show that you are thinking about your internship or job outside of work, it demonstrates dedication and forward thinking.

7. Take Initiative.

Be the first one to volunteer to help with something. Bring fresh ideas to your bosses before they have to ask for them. If you see something that can be better, fix it without waiting to be told to do so. Take the lead, take charge.

8. Adaptable.

Don’t be stuck in your ways when it comes to your internship or jobs. Be adaptable to situations that may unexpectedly arise, and handle it with grace. There’s no need to freak out over minor changes. Be flexible.

9. Positive Attitude.

Even when you are having a rough, sluggish, tired day, maintain a positive attitude. Rockstars look on the bright side, and their positive attitudes are infectious.

10. Honest.

Be honest about your workload, what you are accomplishing, and your thoughts. When you are secretive, people can tell. Don’t give anyone a reason to not trust you.

11. Good Communicator.

If you need help with something, ask. Don’t worry about employers questioning why they hired you if you ask for help. That won’t happen. In fact, most people want you to ask for help because they would rather the task be completed correctly rather than you not asking for help and the job being poorly done. Communicate your wins for the week, what you want to do better, and interesting industry-related news you hear or read about. Also, talk about fun things you are doing outside of the office. People won’t know who you are or what’s going on with you if you do not speak up.

12. Fun.

Regardless of whether your internship is twice a week or every day, you spend a lot of time at the office, and people want to be around other fun people. Be friendly, ask people questions about their lives, and have a good time! You don’t have to be the most outgoing person, just don’t hide away all day, do you work, and then leave when work is over. Show people your fun side, work will be awesome, and you will be a rockstar.

CultureEducationSkills

Love politics, public service, and Washington D.C.? This internship might be perfect for you!

Apply to intern at the White House Internship Program this Summer 2014. Interning at the White House will give you an incredible opportunity to have a hands-on approach to politics, public service, and building your leadership skills. You’ll have to send in essay questions, your one page resume, and letters of recommendation by January 5, 2014. Get started now!

{image via}

Skills

I know, I know – we haven’t even celebrated the holidays (or Thanksgiving!) yet, but now is the time to start thinking about spring and summer internships. While many companies have internship application deadlines just after the New Year, it depends on where you are applying and their rules and requirements. Having all of December to work on your application, essays, resume, and recommendations may seem like a long time, but the time will go by in the blink of an eye. Better to start now and get the ball rolling.

Before you jump into just sending out your information to a bunch of random companies, there are some important things to consider:

  •  Where You Want to Intern

It will be beneficial in the long run to take some time to think about your interests and where you want to intern. What companies have you been interested in, who do you want to learn from, where do you think you can best improve your skills, what company do you think can use your help? Do you want to work for a large corporation or a small start-up? Do you want to intern in your hometown or out of state/country?

  • Resources

Here are a few places that may start generating some ideas about where you might like to intern:

  1. Intern Sushi
  2. Ed2010
  3. Intern Queen
  4. Go to the company of interest’s website, search under Contact or Internships/Jobs (usually at the bottom of the homepage) for more information on how you can apply to work there for the spring or summer.
  •  Essays

Many internship listings will require that you send in writing samples or essays. Brainstorm ideas for the essay questions that are asked, draft up a sample, edit edit edit, and then have someone look over what you’ve written. Your writing represents what you can do and what you will bring to the company, so give these essays your all.

  • Resume

Almost every place you apply to intern will require a resume. Keep your resume to one page and list the most relevant experiences that make sense for the job/internship you want.

  • Letters of Recommendation

Some places will require that you send letters of recommendation as part of your application. If you need letters of recommendation, consider asking your favorite teacher, coach, supervisor or boss at your previous job/internship, or your volunteer supervisor. Ask for letters of recommendation 2-3 weeks in advance, since the person may need time to sit down and write it.

  • Timeline

Schedule out when you plan on completing your application/resume/essays/letters of recommendation so that applying to spring and summer internships don’t interfere too much with your schoolwork. You also want to be sure you are making those deadlines on time! With a little organization and markings on your calendar, you’ll be set.

Good luck and get started!