This blog was written by Emily, our campus ambassador from Chapman University!
So you want to intern this summer? Did you know there are deadlines, paperwork and fees associated with this? If not, here is the crucial information you need to know to succeed in getting your Summer 2012 internship.
(Warning: If you don&t like making lists, stop reading now.)
Pick your desired field(s) based on your major, interests and past internships. If you want to intern in PR but you&re majoring in Sociology, it&s fine. The experience you gain from interning is what matters, having a major that associates with it does help though.
Find out where your desired industry exists. If it&s non-existant where you live, you may need to look into interning in other places. Many college students end up in other places than home for their summer internships. If you need to travel somewhere else to intern, you will need to do research to find your options. Google is a savior for this one. Look into college dorms, subleting and other forms of student housing. Make a list of all the potential housing, deadlines and fees associated with living there.
Now it&s time to make that dream list. Make sure you include companies that could be considered "reaches". Those reaches can act as future goals if not accomplished this summer. Try to have at least 10 companies on there because you want to have back ups incase you don&t get your first choice. Last summer my list had 15 but I only ended up applying to 8.
After you&ve made your list, find out when the company&s deadline to apply is. You can look it up but if there&s no information, pick up a phone and call them. They will tell you exactly what to include when submitting your resume and when to apply. Also, be sure to find out if they require school credit. Chances are they do and you will need to be prepared. My school charges per credit over the summer if you intern as if you were taking summer school so you&ll definitely want to look into that as well.
Gather your resume (keep it to one page), cover letter and recommendation letters (if applicable). Maybe have a peer proofread it because you don&t want to make any mistakes!
Embarrassing side note: last summer I sent a cover letter addressed to the wrong company, then had to resend everything with an apology. So make sure you double and triple check everything to avoid this and any other mistakes!
Once everything is ready, submit and play the waiting game. If you hear nothing after a week, follow up. Your resume may have gotten lost in their inbox or they may not have even started contacting people yet. It also shows you&re interested, which doesn&t hurt.
Finally, make a list of any expenses (housing, tuition, travel etc.) for the summer and gather your funds. Whether you&re proposing your plan to your parents or you&re paying for it yourself, it helps to have it all written out to refer back to.
Most deadlines don&t come around until at least March or April but it&s important to plan ahead.
I hope you all get your dream internships! Good luck!