Motivating your students to apply for summer internships in the winter

February 24, 2011 at 4:38 pm | Posted in career center, Finding internships, Intern Advice, Preparing interns, Summer internships, Time Management Skills | Leave a comment

Susan Sandberg

It’s been a cold, snowy winter throughout much of the country, leaving students focused on spring break. Whether it’s a fun trip to sunny Florida or home for comfort food and family visits, most students are thinking of getting away rather than planning ahead. As a career professional, your challenge is to inspire and motivate them to move forward on getting a summer internship—now. Here are a few incentives that you might share with students:

  • Stanford University News: Stanford graduate student Alexandra Wexler has been awarded the 2011 Daniel Pearl Memorial Journalism Internship, which will have her working in a foreign Wall Street Journal bureau this summer. Wexler, from New York City, previously held internships at ABC Eyewitness News in Durham, N.C., and the Durham Herald-Sun. Her writing also has appeared in during a stint in South Africa. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Duke University. If you forward this to your students, they’ll understand that the better internships are being filled now, so they might want to send out internship applications before heading out for spring break. Or you might consider if your school wants to sponsor an internship in honor of a well-known graduate.
  • Famous former interns featured at    Before Harvard University, before Microsoft, 17-year-old Bill Gates spent a summer as a congressional page. A budding entrepreneur, he sold outdated campaign buttons as collectors’ items. During her sophomore year at Tennessee State University, Oprah Winfrey worked at WVTF-TV—the CBS affiliate in Nashville. She was hired. Former New York Knick Patrick Ewing, while a basketball star at Georgetown University, spent the summer of l983 interning for the Senate Finance Committee. During his internship he met his now ex-wife, Rita, who was interning for then Senator Bill Bradley. Brook Shields volunteered at the zoo through an internship program at her N.J. high school before heading off to Princeton University, where she studied French. Internships can be the start of something big for your students just as they were for the above celebrities.
  • Summer Internships: Suggest that your students browse through the 4,433 Summer Internships listed on for ideas. Remind them to check application deadlines. For example, they can follow up on Development Apprentice Summer 2011 at iMADdu in Fairfax, Virginia. This non-profit organization seeks 6 part-time, unpaid interns who will perform a wide range of assignments and may work remotely.  To learn more, visit IMakeADifferenceDoyoU dot org. If students want a part-time, paid internship, they might want to check out Web Design at Metro Tech in Illinois. MetroTech Service Corporation is a privately held HVAC Service Company providing Preventative Maintenance and Emergency Service Repairs exclusively to prominent retail customers operating internationally. Interns will be building a whole Web site. Final product will be intergraded in to existing Web site.
  • Answers Forum: You understand that your students have lots of questions about Summer Internships. Yet they may not take the time or have the initiative to come to your office and ask your advice. A good alternative for them is to log in or join the Answers Forum on for complete privacy. Many of the people who submit questions use Anonymous as their name to protect their privacy. The topics range from Searching, Applying, and Preparing for internships to After the Internships. A recent sample questions was “What is the GPA criteria to get job/internship?” Encourage students to take advantage of this resource.

This post was written by Susan Sandberg. Find out more about Susan and the rest of our bloggers on our new About Us page.

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