SUMMER INTERNSHIP TIMELINE
The big question at this time of year is always, “When is the best time to apply for Summer Internships and is it too late ?” Have no fear, the Intern Queen is here and I have a timeline of my own that students can follow. Follow my timeline below and you will get everything out just in time ! Keep in mind that my timeline does not apply to large companies or any company with a formal internship program. Most formal internship programs (NY Times, ATAS, WSJ, WashPost, Citigroup, etc) do have early application deadlines that can be found on their individual company websites. These deadlines are protocall for most of the media/entertainment/pr/marketing internships on my site. Good luck !
SUMMER INTERNSHIP TIMELINE
Friday, February 26, 2008 – Complete all of your internship materials. If you haven’t finished by Friday, finish up over the weekend. You should have the following materials prepared: Resume, Cover Letter, 3 Letters of Rec ( One academic reference, one professional reference, one character reference). Make copies of these materials on a thick quality paper. I suggest using a cream colored paper (these should be avail at a Kinkos or any all-in-one shop). Make about 20 copies of each document. Try to use your school’s copy machine as those usually have cheaper rates. Copying can get pricey ! Get some clear paper protectors to slide one master copy of each document into (The clear plastic things). This is to make sure you always have your masters avail if you need more copies. You will also take these documents and a few copies of each with you to in-person interviews.
Monday, March 2nd 2008 – Pick Your Internships ! This is your week to research and find all of the internships you’d like to apply for. Make a Dream List of all the top companies you’d like to intern at over the summer. Do your research and make sure they offer internships in the destination you’d like to go. Next to your top ten companies, make a list of 5-10 companies that aren’t your dream company but are similar to the companies listed. For example: If your dream magazine internship is at Us Weekly or Seventeen Magazine – your 2nd list might read “ Marie Claire Magazine or DailyCandy.com.” I encourage every student to apply for between 10-20 companies for the summer. Internships are more competitive than ever before so the more you apply to, the better chance you have of nailing down these opportunities. Also, the more competitive the internship, the more opportunities you should be applying for – keep that in mind.
Thursday, March 5th 2008 – Time to Research. Use Thursday and Friday to go through your list of companies that you are applying for and do some research. The goal here is to send your resume to an actual person and not a random website or firstname.lastname@example.org. First, check my Quarterlife.com/intern site and enter the company name into the Searchbar. The company name will appear if I have contacts at that company. If I do, simply email your resume to me at email@example.com and include the semester and the company name in the subject line. If I don’t work with the company than check out their website. If you don’t see a name for the Internship Coordinator (you usually will not) than call the company. Ask to speak with the internship coordinator. Get their name and email address and let them know you are applying for an internship. If they give you a generic email, ask who you can address the email to. You want to do anything in your power to get an actual name.
Keep an Excel document to store all of your information. Make columns for Company, Contact Name, Email, Status, Follow Up.
Monday, March 9th 2008 - Send your apps ! Put a good chunk of time aside to send out your materials today. Many companies will want your CL, Resume, Letters of Rec via email. Send those out and make sure they are addressed to that company and not to another. I suggest blind copying (BCC’ing) yourself on all of the emails as a reminder to follow up in 2 weeks. Any mail applications *companies that have indicated regular mail is best* should also go out today. Good luck ! Make a note in your STATUS column of your Excel document of the date you sent your materials out.
Tuesday, March 24th 2008 – Follow Ups Begin. I suggest calling each company (unless they specifically told you to NOT call) and asking to speak with the internship coordinator. All you say is, “Hi, This is Lauren Berger, I emailed my resume to _____two weeks ago and wanted to follow up and make sure they received it.” Be as polite as possible.
**** Note, if you don’t hear anything back by the 2nd week in April, I suggest applying to at least 10 more internships. Most companies will notify interns by Mid-April.
I asked my Friends on Twitter What They Thought About Applying for Summer Internships - Here is their Advice:
”Do it NOW”; Most common msg but nobody listens because there’s too much social activity; waiting=lost opportunity-fini.” @lauratoogood, Student Coach.
“Friends can wait until the hunt is over; they’ll just blow past U anyway; if they’re real friends they’ll B fine w/it.” @lauratoogood, Student Coach.
“DO NOT put references on a resume; biggest mistake EVER; keep the list separate; AND double check the validity.” @lauratoogood, Student Coach.
“Letters of Reference are important.” @globalsultana, Communications Professional.
“I def think anyone looking for a summer internship should start looking as soon as possible. Speed to market as they say.” @geraldinemae, http://geraldinemae.blogspot.com/.
“Apply for summer internships now…we’ve been interviewing since late January.” @Alicia_Wells, Accountant Executive and Internship Manager.
“If you apply too early your resume and coverletter may be misplaced or lost and often they ask you to resend it.” @amaute, Alyssa Maute, Student at Clemson, http://amaute.wordpress.com/.
“The last two years in a row I’ve had mine nailed down by mid February … very reassuring This year I’m not so lucky!” @jess_a_ca.
“No matter how tough it is to NOT procrastinate, get applications in EARLY. Most basic advice but always true.” @saramartinez, Student in Chicago.
“Don’t limit yourself to paid internships. It’s not about the money, it’s about the experience.” @DavidSpinks, Student and Blogger in New York. http://twitter.com/DavidSpinks.
“ABSOLUTELY NO MISTAKES IN THE COVER LETTER OR RESUME. No ifs ands or buts.” @karlastevenson.