In college, the options for how to spend your summer are endless. You could take classes to get ahead, intern in the field you’re interested in, or get a summer job, to name just a few possibilities. I’m spending the first half of my summer relaxing at home while working on my study abroad application for next spring. In July, however, I’ll be interning at one of New Jersey Senator Bob Menedez’s New Jersey offices. Since I have family in New Jersey and am interested in public policy, it’s an ideal internship for me. However, landing that internship wasn’t simple. Here are some tips for getting an internship in college based on my experience:
- Apply Early- It’s best to work on your internship applications during winter break so that you have plenty of time to refine them before sending them out to companies and organizations in the spring. Once classes start back up, you’ll be grateful you’ve already finished your applications. Although I did some of my applications during this past winter break, I’ll admit it would have helped to do more.
- Don’t Get Discouraged- Internships can be competitive, especially for rising sophomores and juniors. You should apply to many and realize that rejection is normal and doesn’t make you any less smart or successful. I became dejected after I kept getting rejections, but because I continued applying to more places, I landed a great internship at a U.S senator’s office. Perseverance is key.
- Be Confident- I struggle with playing up my strengths in interviews, even though on paper I’m qualified. My advice is to recognize your talents and make sure you let potential employers know about them. Wash U student have great qualifications, but interviewers can’t take those qualifications into consideration if they don’t know about them. I recommend elaborating on each of your answers so that the interviewer can get to know you.
Deciding what to do during your summers away from Wash U can be difficult, as is applying for internships. Hopefully I was able to provide some guidance for that process. Whatever you decide to do in your summers away from Wash U, just know that you’ll have a solid background for achieving those goals.