How to Land Your Dream International Summer Internship!
For the whole year student Vivek shuts heavy books, opens heavier ones and pulls all-nighters to study for the ever upcoming exams. He worries about assignments, projects and imminent mid semester reviews. Sound familiar? A student’s academic life in college reads like a bunch of old theorems- dull and unchanging. Winter semester is preceded by Fall and soon the year ends with us having achieved high marks but no knowledge of how we achieved them. Summers are perhaps the only time we can really pursue what we love and enjoy ourselves.
What if you were told that you could travel to a foreign land, make new friends, have life experiences and do the work you actually like, all the while getting paid for it? What seems like a highly optimistic dream actually goes by the name of ‘Summer Internship’. These internships are that rare a thing, at any given point in time a million students across the globe will be applying for it. The competition is mind boggling.
While applying for Summer internships I picked up quite a handful of tips which will increase your chance of selection manifold.
- Every internship position, whether it be Undergraduate or Graduate is looking for five basic things. A Resume, Statement of Purpose, Letters of Recommendation, Transcripts (Grade sheets) and the respective Application form. As an undergraduate in your second year, you should already be sealing your resume with a date at the end. There are standard resume formats that one should conform with but in a situation where a reviewer has to go through a thousand of the same educational qualifications; your achievements (academic, social and extra-curricular) bring an individualistic shine to your CV that will help make the cut to the smaller pile of call backs. Always keep updating your CV.
- Writing a Statement of Purpose is as tough as building Rome in a day, it takes a long while to write an admirable one. Make sure to read a lot of model essays before penning your own. Your statement caters to three very important questions: 1. Why you chose your academic path 2. Why you are interested in said project/ industry/university and 3. What makes you the best candidate for this internship opportunity. You must thoroughly research on the university/program/project you want to undertake. Read up on their work, affiliations and core values. Incorporate such knowledge tastefully in your SOP; this will give you an edge over the others. Blatantly praising the university by proclaiming it as the best university will only diminish the reviewers interest in your application.
- Start your internship search as early as the second semester of your second year. Look for scholarships or paid internships abroad. The first thing you must do is join the numerous Internship forums on Facebook such as EduInfo, Internships Abroad, and Scholarships!!! e.t.c. These forums are very insightful as they list out various internship opportunities from all across the world. I have found EduInfo to be exceedingly helpful as it provides links to summer and winter internships according to branch, international or otherwise.
- Even if you are a model student with perfectly straight As, I would advise you to apply to as many positions as time permits. Albeit your having left no stone unturned to make a great application, I shall reiterate that there might, nay there will be students who have just as great an application as yours if not better. Choose the internships that will fund your living expenses or pay you for your work. These scholarships make for a big chunk of the achievements section in your CV.
- I find it extremely helpful to make a table on EXCEL or Word. For example:
|Mitacs Globalink Research Scholarship||September 17th||May – July||1 LOR, Transcript and CV in PDF format, 1 page for SOP||All living expenses paid.|
It takes one tiny, unintentional mistake to get your name crossed off from the selection process. This table is crucial not only to keep up with the deadlines but also to cross check the requirements (Each program will have a different set of them). Some will ask personalized questions instead of asking for an SOP, but take time out to answer with zeal; don’t leave a copy paste job on the form. This investment has many fold returns.
6. There are three things to keep in mind while asking for a Letter of Recommendation- 1. Your professor’s credentials, 2. Their area of expertise and 3. Their rapport with you. A professor should ideally have known you for over two years and taught you in at least two classes for them to be in a position to write you a good recommendation. Some professors like to take their time so making sure you ask them much before the deadline is crucial.
- Miscellaneous tips:
- Some applications require passport details, so have that handy in such cases.
- Always try to apply as soon as the internship portals open, do NOT wait till the deadline. This will showcase your genuine interest and increase chances of selection.
- When asked to upload transcripts or grade sheets, only scan original transcripts with the school seal.
You’re young, on your own and across the globe. What could be more exciting than that? So heed these tips, start applying and you just might have the experience of a lifetime!
And now that you know the secret recipe of making your foreign internship dream come true, check out the latest international internships on Internshala and apply to the ones that capture your imagination!
Want to get an International experience? Check out the latest international internship.
Image credit: http://blog.goennounce.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/blog_post_summer_internships1.jpg
About author : Sohini Bagchi is a 4th Year Biotechnology student at VIT, Vellore.
9 thoughts on “How to Land Your Dream International Summer Internship!”
nice blog, gotto understand about interns ………..very helpfull for all pursuing young engineers
We are glad to know that you found our blog helpful :)
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Does this information helpful to an MBA student?? Or is it only for engg. students.?
The information is helpful students of all fields.
All the best
I want to apply for summer intership
Please stay tuned to Internshala (internshala.com) and apply for latest summer internships.