12 September 2011

Apply Early and Often

Posted by cmdowns under: Summer 2011; Uncategorized .

Hello! My name is Chris Downs and I am one of the bloggers who will be writing about my summer internship experience this year. First, I want to let everybody know a couple of things about me. I am going into my senior year at William and Mary, majoring in both international relations and marketing. I am involved in a variety of clubs around campus and enjoy playing soccer or hanging out with friends in my spare time. This summer I will be interning for the Department of Defense and am extremely excited for the opportunities that lie ahead.

I want to start off my blog by telling you a bit about the process of how I got my internship and what to expect. One thing you should know before you start the process is that it takes time, and a lot of it. I would say it is equivalent to having an additional 2 or 3 credit class on your schedule. You have to tailor your résumé and cover letter to each different job and fill out the application for that particular organization. Applications can take a while depending on the organization because they may want detailed information beyond your previous work experience and personal information. Also, know what organization you want to work for and start the process early. My internship application was due in October because the DoD needs enough time to process security clearances for new employees. This timeframe is very common for intelligence agencies or organizations related to national security. Other organizations may not have deadlines till later but be sure you don’t miss them! Also, be sure to apply to a lot of different organizations that do things you are interested in getting involved with. You never know who will call you back and you might find that one of your back-up choices does some really cool work. And be sure to stick with the process and don’t get discouraged. I finished my application for my internship in October and then filled out almost 20 more before I heard back in late spring that I had gotten the job.

The Career Center is a good resource to help review your résumé and discuss possible opportunities. If you want to work for the government or for a company that has a large presence in DC then I would reach out to the William and Mary Washington Office which is always happy to help students out. And don’t forget to reach out to friends or family if they work in a field you are interested in, they can be your best resource. Internships are a great learning experience and you will come out better prepared for the real world with insights that you cannot get from a textbook.

3 Comments so far...

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Summer Interns

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