Applying for Internships – Round Three

In Round One, we started with a list of 2-3 internship sites, began researching each site, tailored application materials for each, then submitted applications. Last week, we followed up with the Round One internships, created a list of Round Two internships and began researching them.

This week:
Last week, we chose not to send out any applications in order to adjust for busy school schedules. If the week wasn’t as busy for you and you decided to send out application materials, be sure to follow up with each internship that you applied for last week.

Check your notes for your Round One internships, and if there is any follow up needed for those, be sure to do so this week. It’s only been a couple of weeks, but depending on deadlines, you may begin hearing about scheduling interviews for that first round of internships. Don’t be surprised, though, if it takes several more weeks to begin hearing back about interviewing.

Otherwise, your goal this week will be to tailor your resumes and cover letters for the Round Two internships and send them out.

Next, identify another 2-3 sites for your Round Three internships. Again, you’ll want to research each of these carefully and, time permitting, tailor your application materials appropriately. Keep in mind that some types of internships require more than a resume and cover letter – some may require you to submit writing samples, a personal statement or essay(s), recommendation letters, or other materials.

The writing sample you provide will depend on the specific internship’s request and the field. For example, if you’re applying for a journalism internship, then an academic writing sample won’t be appropriate; you’ll want to submit an example of journalistic writing. However, if you’re applying for an internship where you’ll be conducting research and generating a larger piece of scholarly work at the culmination of the experience, an academic writing sample would be very appropriate. If you are submitting a paper that you’ve written for class, make sure it’s one for which you’ve received an A!

If asked to submit a personal statement or other essay, make sure you read the essay prompt carefully and that your response answers the prompt. If the employer asks for a generic “personal statement”, think of your response in terms of past, present and future. How does your previous experience prepare you for this internship? How will you apply your experience and knowledge in the internship? How does this internship fit into your longer-term career goals?

Make sure you give plenty of time for your recommenders to write letters of recommendation for you. At the very least, a two week turnaround is needed, but longer would be preferable. When requesting a letter of recommendation, (or asking someone to act as a reference), ask if the person is willing to provide you with a strong, positive reference. You don’t want a lukewarm letter! Some recommenders and some internship sites may want the letter to be private – meaning, you don’t get the chance to read the letter before, or after, it has been sent. If this is the case, you may want to provide your recommender with a stamped, addressed envelope so they can send the letter directly to the internship site. Alternately, you can ask the recommender to put the letter into the envelope, seal it, and then you can collect it to submit, unopened, with the rest of your application materials. Be sure to follow the instructions for each internship site. Some employers also provide the option of electronic submission for letters of recommendation. Read the directions carefully, and offer your recommenders any assistance with the process, if needed.

Depending on the nature of the internship, you may be requested to submit other materials, such as official or unofficial transcripts, artwork, photographs, proof of specific certifications, etc.

Applying for Internships is a series of articles that walks students through the process of applying for internships week by week.

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