Summer Internships 101

Being only five weeks into the semester, you may not have thought about it yet, but now is the time to start thinking about summer plans. Instead of getting a last minute job to keep you busy during the few months in between semesters, think about applying for an internship instead. A summer internship can be a great way to gain some work experience, add a credit to your resume, get an inside look into the career you’re pursuing, and if you can get college credit for it, then everybody wins! For many majors here at Shepherd University, you’ll need to complete some kind of internship program or minimum amount of on the job hours in order to graduate. (I’m a communication major and journalism minor and need internships for both!)
First, figure out what type of internship you’re looking for. If you’re not going to receive credit for it, do you want a paid internship? Are you looking for something located close to home if you’ll be living at home this summer? What skills are you looking to enhance or build through this internship?
Make time to speak with your advisor or department chair. Fall 2013 advisement is just around the corner, so that can be a great time to talk about your options. These people can be key resources in finding just the right internship that will fit your specific area of interest that you can get credit for. There are many local businesses and companies partnered with the university and take interns too. Your professors can put you in contact with different companies and possibly offer a recommendation for you.
Applying early will give you another advantage. This also allows you to have a back up plan, or to apply for a few internship positions to make sure you get just the right one. In order to receive credit for your hours, there are deadlines you’ll have to meet to sign up for the internship program. So acting early can be a huge time saver.
Get your resume together and draft up a cover letter to make the application process even easier. And don’t forget that online resources can be a great tool to link you directly to employers looking for student interns just like you. Here you can also get tips about resume building and most sites have a mobile app to make your search even easier.
Here are a few sites I found to be helpful:
You never know: a great summer internship could lead to a future career!

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