Sophomore spring is a busy semester as you focus on choosing your major, apply for and start to take on leadership roles in extracurricular activities, and, this week, try to make the most of spring break. Figuring out your plans for the summer after sophomore year is another important task on your To Do list.
Sophomore summer is key because it’s a chance to build skills while exploring different career paths. The pressure isn’t quite as high as junior summer (which possibly can lead to a full-time job offer after graduation), but gaining meaningful, professional experience after sophomore year is really important because many employers prefer hiring candidates with some relevant work experience.
When should you look for your summer internship? The earlier the better to make sure you don’t miss out on something that interests you or funding assistance. While some deadlines have passed, there are still loads of great opportunities available throughout the spring. In fact, according to the CCPA’s Summer 2013 survey, 51% of the students who completed the survey received their offer between March and April, and 22% received their offer in May or later (response rate was about 25%.)
For most students the internship search can seem a little daunting. Since many of you haven’t had to formally apply for jobs or internships before, the process may be totally new. Thankfully, once you understand the basics, applying to internships is pretty straightforward. Here’s what to do:
- Think about what you want to do and where you want to work (The CCPA can help you figure this out and develop a plan. Also, visit the Internship page of our website)
- Search for opportunities on internship databases (like Haverford’s CareerConnect, the Liberal Arts Consortium Network LACN, Campus Philly’s Online Internship Fair from March 24-28, idealist.org, and the CCPA’s industry specific Virtual Career Resources) and organization websites.
- Write targeted résumés and cover letters for the positions that interest you and have them reviewed by the CCPA.
- Follow the directions in the internship posting to apply.
- Talk with friends, family, faculty, Haverford staff, alumni and others every step of the way to gather advice for finding and applying to internships that interest you.
- As long as the posting doesn’t say “no phone calls”, plan to follow up with the organization in about two weeks to reiterate your interest and ask if the position is still open.
- Prepare for interviews with the CCPA online interview guide and CareerBeam interactive interview prep tool. You can even schedule a mock interview.
- Keep applying to positions that interest you until you land an offer that will help you reach your goals for the summer.
Remember, there are many people and resources at Haverford to help you with your search. Don’t be shy about asking for help and advice. Making an appointment with a career counselor at the CCPA or stopping by during CCPA’s Walk-in Hours (Mon – Fri 3 -4 pm) is a great place to start.