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Gearing Up for the Search for a Summer Internship

posted by Jessica Styles

It’s important to consider a few factors when thinking about securing a summer internship. First, begin early! If you’re searching for a summer internship, you should start toward the end of winter. For instance, if you want an internship that starts in June, you should start interviewing in February or March. Instead of just randomly searching and haphazardly finding an internship, I would suggest you be more strategic in your process. Here is a checklist for you to follow to help you make informed decisions that will lead to a fulfilling experience! 


Photo by Stephanie Banares of FindSpark

Ten Steps to Consider When Searching for your Dream Summer Internship:

  1. Identify areas of the industry that you are interested in pursuing and conduct research on those areas.
  2. Create a “wish list” of companies that have an internship program and research the basics: application deadline, start and end date, paid or unpaid, location of internship, internship departmental options, etc.
  3. Consider miscellaneous factors such as, do you want to intern abroad or out-of-region, how many hours are required, what days of the week do you prefer, etc.
  4. Utilize the internal Career Management internship and job database on Symplicity to explore your options. (Don’t just settle on the first thing you find.) In addition, use outside resources such as
  5. Speak with your professors and industry professionals who can provide you with industry insight. You never know what career options are out there that you’re simply unaware of.
  6. Review the internship application process and be sure that you are submitting the most professional, up-to-date resume and tailored cover letter. (No cookie cutter documents allowed!)
  7. Send a personalized handwritten thank you card AND email within 24 hours of interview.
  8. Keep applying! Never put all of your eggs in one basket. It is always good to cast a wide net and make a decision based on your interest versus desperation.
  9. Stay positive and keep networking! You never know HOW and through WHOM you will find your dream internship.
  10. And finally, after you get the interview, nail that interview, and accept and negotiate your offer.

Congratulations! After these ten steps, you’re destined to secure your dream internship. Does it take hard work? Yes. Does it take dedication? Yes. Does it take patience? Yes. But it’s worth it!


By Jessica Styles, Career Advisor

Topics: Student Advice, Career Services

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