It’s that time of the year when university students around the world are searching and filling out applications for summer internships.
We are often asked, what makes a strong application, where to put certain information, or how a resume should look? There’s no template for the ideal application, because we look at many different things during the admissions process.
As our Admissions Team stays busy reviewing hundreds of new applications throughout the day, here are their top tips for what makes a strong internship application.
Attitude is Key
We typically look for applicants who are open-minded and professional. The Admissions Interview and Program Goals short essay are great places to highlight these mindsets.
Augusta - I love enthusiastic applicants who are genuinely excited for the opportunity to live and intern abroad. I look for someone with a can-do attitude, as living and interning in another country can be a new challenge!
Katherine - I also pay attention to the interns attitude. I look for someone who is proactive, mature, independent, and self-sufficient. Even if someone doesn't have much professional experience, someone who is excited and mature tends to be a great intern!
Be Professional And Prepared
Emily - I like it when people have looked at the website beforehand and can show it. I'm happy to go over the info on the phone, but it's nice if they've put in the effort to look and understand our program already. And this goes for any interview preparation!
Brooke - I love it when an intern has done their research on our programs and mentions things they saw on the website, blogs, or takeover videos. It shows me that they’re proactive and taking this opportunity seriously. It also saves more time on the call for us to chat about them and their interests, rather than basic program details.
Karl - It’s important to have an engaged applicant. Are they responsive via email? Are they proactive in scheduling and keeping appointments? Some career fields require more work - having to provide a writing sample (i.e. Law), a portfolio (i.e. Design), or a list of courses (i.e. Engineering). If an applicant is active in the admissions process, then I feel more confident presenting them to a company!
Claim Your Success
Katherine - I look at non-professional experiences and how applicants are able to talk about them. For example, "I'm the recruitment chair for my sorority which has 400 girls and requires 10 hours per week, lots of time management and organization!".
Andrew - I like to look for specific interests, hobbies, and activities/extracurriculars that an intern is currently involved in. For example, I always appreciate speaking to someone in a Fraternity or Sorority, because I immediately know that the candidate is social, volunteers, and might hold a leadership position. This helps me determine the best fit for their ideal internship.
Why is Your Resume Important
The best way to highlight examples of your experiences and successes is through your professional resume. Too often, important information is hard to find and many employers won’t take the time to look.
Emily - One resume tip I have is to make sure it's very obvious where your name is and your school and major. Occasionally, I find this info on the second page of a resume or in a corner in a small font and I'm searching all over to figure out who it is and what they study. This should be at the very top!
Rachel - Having a resume as a PDF is quite standard for all job applications, so this shows me you are familiar with application processes. To me, even if you don't have previous internship or relevant work experience, it still shows me that you're able to follow directions and are responsible.
I look pretty critically at how your resume is formatted. To me, a well-constructed resume with experience clearly outlined, proper grammar/punctuation, and consistent formatting is an indicator that you are putting serious effort into your application. With that, I have the confidence you'll continue their professionalism into your interview and for the rest of the program.
We hope this advice empowers you to submit your application to intern abroad this summer!
If you’ve already applied, be proactive and reach out to your Admissions Counselor to schedule your Admissions Interview. We’re excited to talk to you about your opportunities with an internship abroad!