The Summer has quickly come to a close, and for most of us, the Fall semester arrived a little too soon. Even though the semester has just started, many of us jumped right into a full course-load of classes, extra-curricular activities, jobs, and internships. Our Fall internships may have just started, but is it too early to start looking for internships for the Spring and even the Summer? No way! It’s never too early to start planning and researching internships for the rest of the school year and even into the Summer semester. Planning ahead is nothing but a positive tool that will help you land your dream internships later on in your college career. I’ve included a few of my own personal tips and tricks for finding and planning for Spring and Summer internships.
Companies Don’t Need Only Fall Interns. They Need Spring and Summer Interns too! – Most companies are in need of interns year-round, not just one season out of the year! Right now, internship sites like Intern Queen are full of listings for Fall interns. Even though the positions are listed for the Fall, most of these companies will be seeking Spring and Summer interns too. Go ahead and make a list of companies you’re interested in, so when the application process for the Spring rolls around, you’ll already have a solid list of companies to intern for.
Internship Requirements Aren’t Going to Radically Change! – Although some companies may add a few tweaks to their internship requirements for following semesters, the core qualifications and requirements are most likely to stay the same. After making a list of companies that interest you, go ahead and write down the requirements and qualifications needed for the Fall intern positions. See what the companies are looking for, and over the course of the semester, work to improve those skills and make yourself a better candidate for that position. If at all possible, download and save a copy of the internship application for the Fall semester, so you can use it as a reference.
Fill Up Your Planner With Internship Deadlines! – Many companies have a year-long outline of the internship selection process on their website. Write down the application deadlines and other important dates in your planner or add it to your online calendar. The Fall semester will only get busier as time progresses, so it’s important to write down those dates before they pass you by. In addition to adding those dates and deadlines, check out your school’s calendar to see if there will be a school internship fair! The internship fair is a great way to mix and mingle with companies who are serious about finding interns!
Get Your Name Out There, Ahead of Time! – If you see a company you’re really interested in interning for, send the company an e-mail. Let them know you saw the posting for their Fall internship and are really interested in interning with them in the upcoming semester and include a copy of your resume. Introducing yourself ahead of time will show you’re committed to finding an internship and that you’re serious about landing that particular position. Some companies may add your resume to their files for the upcoming semester as early as now! If the company doesn’t seem to have a publicly advertised internship program, still go ahead and e-mail them, because they still may need interns!
Previously Rejected? Don’t Be Afraid to Re-Apply! – It’s always disappointing to not score your internship of choice, but there’s no reason not to reapply! In most cases, companies encourage you to reapply. It’s likely that the company thought you were a good candidate, but they probably had numerous other good candidates with similar talents. It’s just as hard for companies to pick a few interns from an excellent pool of applicants as it is for us to pick that one internship out of so many great options! Think about what you can do to improve yourself and better market yourself for that position, and when the application process for the next semester rolls around, reapply. Companies will be impressed that you took the rejection as an opportunity to improve yourself rather than let it discourage you.
Want to Intern Away from Home? The Housing Search Starts Now! – If you’re interested in interning in another city, begin looking for student housing options now! There are a variety of student housing programs in NYC and LA, but it’s beneficial to look now not only to get a price point but also to reserve your spot. Many housing programs fill up quickly, so it’s important to get yourself signed up. Even if you don’t know where you’ll be interning, you can go ahead and start the housing process if you know you’ll be living in that particular city.
Interning For Credit? Make Sure You Need the Credits! – Many companies require you to intern for college credit, and at many schools, those credits fall into the elective field. Make sure to save and allot credits just for interning before you sign up for elective classes at your college. Talk to your internship coordinator ahead of time to learn about the requirements and procedure for registering for a credit internship. Many colleges have specific guidelines and requirements when it comes to credit internships.
As crazy as it sounds, there’s nothing wrong with planning all of your internships for the course of your college career. Some internships have specific requirements and others don’t, and because of this, some internships will fit best during particular semesters. There are wonderful internship opportunities away from home, but it takes time to plan a semester away. Interns are some of the busiest young people out there, but if you’re determined to gain real-world experience, it’s important to take the time and find the perfect combination of internships for you.