Spring Break is coming… time for internships!

Spring Break is the perfect opportunity for students to take a pause, blow off some steam, relax, and get ready for the second half of the semester. It also marks the perfect time to get moving on those summer internship plans. Here is a cheat sheet to use to plan your summer internship experience:

1. Connect with your faculty advisor: The first stop in planning your summer internship is to meet with your faculty advisor. Your advisor can help you determine if and how to register for credit, provide leads of potential internship sites, and help you place your internship within your academic plan.

2. Connect with the Career Development Center: The Career Development Center is a valuable resource in your internship search. We maintain an active database of available internship sites, have connections with employers, and can connect students with resources for internships locally, regionally, and nationally. Also, we help students with their applications, resumes, interviews, and how to make the internship a success.

3. Begin applying: Immediately after talking to your advisor and connecting with Career Development, get moving on applying for internships.  Some internships are extremely competitive and have early deadline dates; others appear quickly and get filled just as quickly. Don’t delay and be left without a seat when the music stops.

4. Apply often: To get an internship, you need to apply to several opportunities; if you apply to just one, wait to hear, and then don’t get the internship you could be stuck without one. Your best tactic is to apply to several different internships and organizations, placing yourself in the best situation to receive an opportunity.  The best case scenario is that every place you apply to offers you the internship and you get to pick the one that is best for you.

5. Follow up: Once you make the initial application, make sure you follow up with the employer. For large organizations and/or national agencies and the like, you may not have many follow up options. But for small to medium size organizations you can make a phone call to inquire about the status of your application and ask to meet with someone. You want to show an employer that you really want this opportunity – following up to express your interest and fit is a great search tactic.

6. Stay in touch with faculty and Career Development: Once you begin searching, applying, and interviewing, be sure to stay in contact with your faculty advisor and with Career Development. Together, we can ensure your internship search is moving along and we can provide advice each step of the way.

7. Win the internship: When you get the interview, win it. Be prepared to talk about yourself in a way that promotes your skills, your abilities, your desire for the opportunity, and your fit for the organization. Employers want to know what you can do for them, not what they can do for you. Be sure to provide examples of your experiences so an employer can see how you will work once in the position. Here in the Career Development Center, we can help you in this process, and conduct mock interviews to get you ready.

8. Once you get the internship, let us know: Once you win the interview and get the internship, be sure to let your faculty advisor and Career Development know. There may be paperwork to complete and courses to register for.

9. If internship is unpaid, sign up for the Bergami Internship Program: If your internship is going to be unpaid, or all the ones you are applying for are unpaid, apply to the Samuel S. Bergami Jr Internship Program. This is a program that will provide eight deserving students with a $2,500 stipend to cover their expenses for a summer 2012 internship.

10. Work hard, and enjoy! Once you get the internship and begin working, enjoy it. Be sure to work hard, be professional, and learn as much as you can. Internships are fantastic opportunities and can be a lot of fun – your job is to show up every day, give it all you got, and to take advantage of all the resources and opportunities provided to you.


For assistance with your internship, come see us:
Career Development Center
103 Bartels Student Activity Center (BSAC)







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