Apply to internships now and you won’t regret it later

With summer seeming like a distant dot on your fall-focused schedule, it’s easy to put off summer job applications.

But given that many employers start looking for summer internship applicants early in the school year, procrastination and a missed deadline might be the main reasons you don’t get the internship of your dreams. Since many career fairs take place during fall semester, employers are already thinking about what type of intern they want. 

That’s why I recommend that as soon as you come across an opening that interests you, apply for it.

In order to avoid working the same minimum-wage summer job as you do every year, take the initiative to score an useful internship to aid your developing career. 

Here are just a few of the many incentives to apply to internships early:

Applying early will force you to look over your resume and cover letter early

Last year around this time, I spent way too much time trying to perfect my resume and cover letter on my own. One way to improve your resume and cover is to have it reviewed by Career Services on campus. The Career Center on Wright Street offers counseling and advising, job search preparation, workshops and special events that are geared towards students ready to start applying for summer internships. Students can make appointments or drop in with general questions. 

Even if you don’t end up getting those earlier internships, your resume and cover letter will already be polished and good to go when you apply for later internships. By maintaining an updated resume, you will be ready when you come across an opening that interests you. 

Applying early will avoid the stress that applying late often brings

Because I’m studying abroad this spring, I need to take extra initiative to find an internship before I need to leave. If I am able to secure an internship before I go abroad, I won’t have to stress about finding something when I should be focusing on enjoying my time in another country. 

By applying early, you can plan for your internship early as well. If your internship is out-of-state, you can figure out housing for your internship months in advance. Depending on what your internship role you will have, you can improve those skills during the rest of the school year that got you the internship in the first place. 

The earlier you apply, the better chance you have of getting the position

It’s time to fine-tune your resume and master the art of your cover letter, because when an employer posts a position online, they usually want to fill the position as soon as possible. If you wait until the end of the school year to begin applying for a summer internship, most positions will be already filled. From my own experience, I know that applying right when a position is posted gives you a higher chance of getting the internship. I heard back from significantly more companies that I applied to first semester than second semester last year. 

The Career Center’s “4-year Career Prep Checklist” mentions the importance of beginning the job search early and reinforces that the Career Center can help with all questions that come up during the process. 

Applying early shows you want the specific position

Many times, when you apply to a position early, it means that you are not at the point of desperation quite yet. Applying early is a good way to show employers that the position you’re applying for is your dream job. 

When you find something that really excites you, naturally you should want to dive right in to applying for the position. Being among the first applicants will show employers that you are excited to take on the position.

Employers don’t have many applications to compare

Just like going first in a class presentation, applying early most likely means that when employers receive your application, they do not have many others to compare it with. Being among the first to apply to a given position shows employers that you’re excited to be able to take on this position, and they should look no further.

Now it’s time to hit the career fair, polish your resume and send out some applications. Don’t be set on one type of internship or job. Have an open mind, and you can end up finding something that really interests you more than you thought that it would. This upcoming summer can be the time to gain real-world experience and explore your professional interests.

Olivia is a junior in Media. She can be reached at [email protected]