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Feb 19 2017
by Nancy Canevari

9 Stages of Applying to Your First Internship

By Nancy Canevari - Feb 19 2017
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College is an exciting time because students experience so many newfound opportunities, which allow them to gain exciting experiences they may otherwise be unexposed to. One of those new opportunities is the field of internships. Internships allow students to gain experience in fields where they may one day wish to work, but applying to internships can be difficult if you’ve never done it before. Here are the stages of applying for your first internship as a college freshman.

1. Being Completely Lost

Where do you even start? Is there a magical website somewhere where you can search for internships? Are there specific ones that you should avoid if you’re only a freshman?

2. Realizing That You Have No Experience

To get an internship, you need to have experience. But to have experience, you need to have some kind of internship or job. You're trapped in a vicious cycle that's tricky to break out of.

3. Finally Finding Something To Apply For

There's a relief that comes with finally finding a position you're interested in applying to. Even if you don't get it, at least you can say that you've been through the application process.

4. Panicking Over Applications

You've never applied to something like this before — where do you even begin to start? Should you include a resume? A cover letter?

5. Panicking Over Resumes 

Even if you've applied to jobs before, applying to internships is different because you're listing experience relevant to a specific field. As established before, this can be tricky if you don't have a lot of professional experience. What should you list? Is there anything you absolutely shouldn't write down?

6. Asking For References 

Most applications will ask for references from at least one person. This means going through your records to find former teachers, employers and volunteer supervisors who are willing to vouch for you and then going through the process of contacting all of them.

7. Finally Submitting Applications

When you finally hit the “submit” button on your applications, it feels as though a weight has been lifted off your shoulders. With your hard work done for now, all that’s left is to sit back and wait for results.

8. Waiting For Results 

The next few weeks — maybe even months — while you sit and wait for the results of your application to come out can be incredibly stressful. You’re guaranteed to question everything you wrote and double check that you actually submitted all of your applications at least six times.

9. Finally Getting Results

Whether you’ve been accepted to the internships you applied for or advanced to an additional stage of applications, finally getting confirmation regarding what you’ll be doing in the summer is a huge relief.

Applying to your first internship can be stressful, but the results are always worth it. Stay motivated and know that your hard work will pay off.

Lead Image Credit: Pexels

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Nancy Canevari - Smith College

Nancy is a junior editor for Fresh U. She is a sophomore at Smith College and plans on double majoring in secondary education and English, with a concentration in creative writing. She's originally from New Jersey, a place she views with one part love and one part exasperated disgust. She loves dogs and young adult high fantasy novels a bit too much and spends most of her time drinking tea and yelling about politics. Follow her on Instagram @fearlesslynancelot for some solidly mediocre content.

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