By Jay Farber
In an internship or summer job, people expect you to generally be competent, but they usually understand that you’re still a college student. For many Tufts students, beginning the networking and interviewing processes is the first time that we really need to act professionally. Being professional isn’t a skill that any class at Tufts teaches, but it’s invaluable in one’s career. Here are some tips about communicating professionally in your internship or job search.
Written by Pattra Audcharevorakul.
It’s getting to be that time of year—and no, I’m not talking about spring break season. I’m talking summer job application season.
It can be a little daunting to be thinking so far ahead when summer seems so far away from now (especially if you’re a first year!), but it never hurts to start looking early. A lot of firms have structured internship programs with application deadlines ranging anywhere from mid-January to early May, and other companies will have openings on and off throughout the entire year. Here’s a quick-and-dirty guide to help you get started.
- What should I do?
First years have a lot of flexibility in this department. I’ve known people who were camp counselors, lifeguards, baristas, or ice cream scoopers, and it never hurts to make a little extra money for the next school year.A common campus myth is that if your summer job doesn’t have anything to do with your field of study, or doesn’t sound “impressive,” then you shouldn’t put it on your resume—this is false! Especially when you’re a first or second year, summer jobs are a good indicator that you were punctual, responsible, and dedicated enough to keep up a job during your supposed months of relaxation.
- How do I start looking for an internship?
Let’s say your fledgling years of college have passed, or you want to get an early start on the summer internship experience. In this case, you‘ll want to keep a few things in mind.Firstly, start looking EARLY!Network with your family and friends to see if anyone close to you might have an opening for you. You should also take a look at Tufts Career Connect, the online job posting board maintained by Tufts Career Services. Be sure to do your homework on the companies that you want to work for.Secondly, whip your resume into shape. Your resume is a reflection of yourself, so make sure it does it well! Be sure to check for typos and alignment issues—every minute you spend tidying up your resume will always pay off.If you want more specific tips on how to get started, check out the Econ Society’s powerpoint on the internship search, resumes, and networking. You can download it here!
- What about funding?
It’s tough to deal with expenses as a college student—books are expensive, there’s rent to be paid, and there are going to be a ton of other things that you’ll want to invest in over the school year. Even so, don’t let the internship of your dreams pass you by just because it’s unpaid.There are plenty of scholarship opportunities out there. For one, Tufts Career Services provides a $3500 summer internship grant for students who want to intern at non-profits or start-ups but need funding in order to go through with the opportunity. For more information on the grant application and some other sources of funding, visit the Career Services website.
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Also, be sure to check out Tufts alum David Coyne’s lecture, “Careers with the Federal Reserve and in Economic Research,” TONIGHT, 7:00pm-8:30pm, in Cabot 205! He’ll be talking about his experiences working at the Federal Reserve, how to break into government research and other research fields. For more info, check out our TuftsLife posting.