The thing they don’t tell you: It’s never too early to apply
As spring semester rolls around, it’s time to start thinking about summer – but I don’t mean start thinking about summer because there are no more classes. What I mean is that it’s time to start to apply for internships!
As I am sure you have realized, employers are looking for more and more experience from prospective employees. This can be daunting as we move further through our college careers. This is why for the past two years, I have been constantly looking for opportunities to enhance my resume.
There are a lot of great opportunities out there if you are able to find them and are able to apply to them on time. The majority of summer internship applications are due in mid-February though some I have seen as early as December. So far, I have chosen to apply to six this semester.
I thought I would share some of the best ways I have found to find these internships:
- Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) – The REU program is a program funded by the National Science Foundation that allows undergraduates to participate in research at schools around the country. Once on the website, you can type in a keyword or search by topic to find internships applicable to your major. The best thing about REU’s are that they cover all costs once you are accepted, including travel, room and board, and food. To apply to an REU, deadlines range from school to school but are usually between January and February with decisions coming out in late March. You can check out the site here.
- LinkedIn – Most people know LinkedIn as a professional social network where you can make a digital copy of your resume available for potential employers. What you might not know is that LinkedIn has a new feature that allows you to search for jobs and internships. You can put in search criteria like location and discipline to narrow down the search. This is only available for members, but it is free to sign up and I strongly encourage you to do so here.
- SimplyHired – SimplyHired is a job search engine that has just as many listings for internships as it does jobs. Once you type in your criteria, it pulls up listings from companies around the nation. All the listings have an ‘apply now’ link that brings you to the actual listing on the company’s website. I first found this site off of a Google search for internships, but you can go directly to their website here.
- Florida Tech Major Listservs – Florida tech has something called a ‘listserv’ for just about every group on campus. What they are are email groups that you subscribe to that pertain to something you are interested in. For example, the biology and business departments have their own listservs. Often times the department will send out emails over the listserv on internship offers that they have come into the office. It can’t get much easier than to have an opportunity come right into your inbox. Usually you can sign up for these by looking up your department on the Florida Tech website.
- Google Search – Never underestimate the power of a Google search. Just by looking up “biochemistry internships,” I was able to find thousands of links. While you might get some dead ends, you can always move on to try the next hit.
One more important thing to add is that many of the applications have similar requirements for when you apply. Often they need your transcript, resume and a personal statement or essay about your goals and dreams. Make sure to save these! Most of the time you are able to tweak an existing essay to answer different questions on different applications. This will save you a lot of time.
Remember, you can never apply to too many, and you can never apply too early. Happy Hunting!