One of the hardest parts about pursuing a summer program in any field is choosing one that is right for you. Thankfully for the NES community there is a wide range of summer opportunities to choose from. Schools and community centers are always looking to have an extra hand at helping out.
First you will want to choose where you want to complete your summer program. Do you want to stay within driving distance of your home town to spend time with your family over the summer? Do you want to travel to a new city you’ve been wanting to explore? Maybe you just want to live in Appleton and live on campus for the summer? There are many different options, however, location is the first thing you should consider before searching for summer opportunities since it will narrow down your search by a lot.
- Paid vs. Unpaid
The next thing to consider while searching for summer opportunities is if you will be paid for your work or not. Some opportunities may pay you in a stipend or bi-weekly in paychecks. Others, especially non-profits, may not pay you at all for your work. Some may even ask you to pay them for the opportunity, especially in certain arts settings (these opportunities may offer work study). If you have found a summer opportunity that you enjoy but it is unpaid, don’t worry! Lawrence has quite a bit of funding to offer for summer experiences.
- What do YOU want to gain from the experience
There are so many different experiences that look amazing on a resume. Though some opportunities are at more “prestigious” places that doesn’t mean you wont get equally as good opportunities at smaller programs. A Curating Internship at the Smithsonian can be equally as rewarding as a Curating internship at the History Museum at the Castle right here in Appleton. If you find an opportunity or program that looks like something you would like to do, apply for it! It doesn’t need to be at a big name company for the experience to be rewarding. Find one that works best for you and what you would like to do with your career.
Well, you’ve narrowed down summer opportunities you would like to apply for… now what? Next it is time to prepare and send in your application. Depending on how many opportunities you are applying for, this could take awhile so be sure you have your deadlines in order before diving in.
- Application Materials
Most internships and programs require you to submit a resume. If you need resume help check out our article here or create an appointment at the career center and we can get you started! You may also need to create a cover letter to go along with your application, you can see a sample cover letter here. Be sure to triple check deadlines in order to get your materials in on time!
- Gather References
References get handed in with your other application materials, however, they require a little more explaining. Many opportunities require you to list references for the company to reach out to to learn more about you. Some opportunities require you to list your academic advisor or current employer, but many leave it up to you who you want to list. We suggest listing any teachers, current or past employers who know you and your work ethic very well.
Interviews are probably the scariest part about the application process; you are so close to getting the position but the interview can really make or break the employer’s decision. Before your interview we suggest creating a mock interview appointment with us at the Career Center. We will conduct the entire appointment like it were your actual interview and then give you feedback on how you did and how to improve. Doing a mock interview with a friend also works well, and ensures you aren’t extremely nervous during your actual interview.
Written by Marissa Lake ’22 Career Peer Educator