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?
Here are a few places that may start generating some ideas about where you might like to intern:
- Intern Sushi
- Intern Queen
- 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.
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.
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.
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!