Finding Internships

Are you a current student thinking about finding a summer internship, or a prospective one wondering what steps to take in college to eventually secure one?

Are you wondering how or where to start looking?

Do you want to get paid?

Well, you are in luck. Spring semester is the prime time to start applying for internships, but you must be quick– many have deadlines within the first few months of the year.

My first advice would be to watch out for emails on your student account; granted, you probably receive so many that you will never have time to carefully read them all, but take the time to browse through as many as your time will allow. Read the ones you think are the most important. It was through this method that I learned about the HACU (Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities) internship, which is an internship that you can apply for the fall, spring, or summer sessions for a certain number of weeks and a great pay. The deadline was February 16th, fairly early in the semester, so the internship search is something you do not want to procrastinate.

Another great approach is to talk to your professors and/or adviser. Whitman offers many student research opportunities where you can work beside your very own faculty members, although these do not necessarily have to be on campus as you may find similar opportunities elsewhere. This allows you to have hands-on experience with conducting research in your field; however, this is usually an offer reserved for students in their junior year of school, so if you are just beginning school at Whitman, you have time to think about what you want to do and prepare for it.

A lot of good internships can be found with a simple google search, or through friend or familial connections. If you find a perfect internship for you beyond Whitman but it is unpaid, do not despair!

Whitman offers the Summer Internship Grant as a way to fund unpaid internships. There are two types available, the domestic (within the US) and the international; they pay about $3000 and $5000, respectively. All you have to do is fill out the thorough application form, stating where you are interning and what you will be doing, and provide proof that you have already secured the internship. This is mildly competitive; however, Whitman does its best to make this option available for as many students as possible, so think long and hard about compelling reasons as to why you should be chosen for the internship, and how it will benefit you. You may also have to present what you learned from the internship to the student body once you return on campus, although there are several ways to go about doing this, including one of the most popular options– blogging.

This semester, the first deadline for the internship grant passed on March 2nd, although there may be additional opportunities to apply if you set up an appointment with the Assistant Director for Internship Programs, Victoria Wolff.

As long as you start early and ask around with people you know, the internship process does not have to be a daunting one.


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