Career Development Office - Job Search Tips

The Summer Job or Internship Search

What is the difference between a summer job and a summer internship?

Summer jobs typically focus on the specific needs of the employer. They may need extra assistance to fill in for summer vacation schedules, or have a large project where they need a helping hand. Summer Internships, on the other hand, usually focus on the needs of the student. They will usually organized programs to help develop specific skills and educate student on the industry. It is important to consider both when looking for a summer experience. Either one will immerse you into an environment where you can learn about specific industry or careers.

Identifying Employers: Easy Access

Once you have done all of the preparation to finding a summer job... organized yourself, created a resume and had to reviewed, identified certain fields of interest, it is now time to identify employers and find internships. Our primary tool to assist you in finding Internships is LACN. This is where we house all internship that are sent to our office through mail or email. We also have several books in our library that post internships.

Identifying Employers: Research

There are so many internships that are not sent to our office, and not posted in the books above. It takes more time to identify these internships, but with a little research, you can probably find something that matches your interests. Below is a list of ways you can identify other employers who may have internship opportunities:

  • Networking Contacts
  • CAREER SEARCH database
  • Internships database on OCEAN (to look for the employer, not the internship)
  • Print materials (e.g., newspapers, journals)
  • Chamber of Commerce & Technology Council Members
  • Directories (e.g., Washington 2000, Good Works)
  • Professional Association membership listing
  • Websites (e.g., Vault Reports, The Idealist)
  • National and regional associations (e.g., Rotary)
  • Yellow pages, blue pages, and white pages

Identifying Employers: The Hidden Internship World

Many unpublished summer jobs and internships are found each year by students who have made tremendous efforts to network or have gone the extra mile to conduct informational interviews. They often have less competition and are basically open only to students who inquire about the prospect of a summer experience with the company or organization. Use your networking skills to help find some of these wonderful opportunities.

Direct Contact with Employers

Once you have identified employers, it is now time to contact them directly. If it is not an internship opportunity that has instructions on how to apply, use the steps below to assist in your communication.

  • Mailings (post office or electronic)
    • ALWAYS personalize/customize your print communication. Find out the name of someone and avoid Dear Sir/Madam.
    • ALWAYS follow-up your letters with a phone call within a week of the communication.
  • Cold Calls (Phone or in-person)
    • Always be polite and respectful of their time.
    • If in-person, dress for an interview, but don't expect one.
    • Your goal is to communicate directly with person who makes hiring decisions, but anyone will know more than you.
    • Do not ask, "Are any internships available."
    • Do ask, "I am interested in 'X' field and would like to learn more about the work of your organization."

Timeline & Procedures

It is never too early to start thinking and about applying to summer internships. National and well-known opportunities will often have fall or early winter deadlines. Ideally, it is best to do research and start making networking contacts in the fall, and to start to apply over winter break. That being said, please do not be discouraged if you are reading this in April! Stop by the office and we can help you start your search.

Make sure that you apply for several internships and check for special procedures or materials in the application process. If there are essays or letters of recommendation required, it may take some more time to complete the application. Below is a list of other materials you may need:

Bryn Mawr and Haverford College Sponsored Internships

There are a number of internships sponsored by both colleges. The deadlines for these vary, but most happen in the early-mid Spring Semester.