Should I Start Applying Now For Summer?

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Should I Start Applying Now For Summer?


Q: Hi there,

I will begin applying to internships sometime in early November. I have about six gathered so far [four in Chicago, two in San Francisco - I live in Oshkosh, Wisconsin] to apply to but I'm wondering how one should go about doing this. Would it be better to apply to one at a time [in order of preference, perhaps] and wait to hear back from them before applying to the next one, or would it be best to apply to all of them at once? I'm worried about being contacted by more than one and having to turn one down.

I have followed you on Twitter for a while now and read your articles pretty frequently, and I have to say it's been very helpful this past year. This is why I am contacting you for some advice and general guidance.

Thank you for your time!


A: Hi Asha,

I'm glad you are already thinking about internships for the summer. And I'm glad you are familiar with! Since you are applying for internships outside of where you live, you'll want to apply earlier so that you can get your living arrangements prepared ahead of time. I would make a list of at least 10 internships that you would be excited to accept (if you have the opportunity). Check out all of the listings and find out what the deadlines are for each position. Keep a google doc or an excel doc of all the companies that interest you, the internship application guidelines, and the deadlines. If the deadlines aren't until March 2011, I would apply towards the end of January. If the deadlines are earlier, than I would apply ASAP. Make sure that on your big internship list, you include the date that you send out your materials to each company. If you have a contact name that you are emailing your materials to, I would follow up with that person two weeks after you send your materials out. If all of the companies that interest you have deadlines that are relatively close, I would apply for all of the internships at the same time. This will make things easier to keep track of.

In 2011, internships will be more competitive than ever before. Again, I suggest that all students apply for at least 10 internships for the summer. Read my blog about turning an internship down if you get another offer, and that should answer the rest of your question.

Lauren Berger
"The Intern Queen"