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Internships: Applications

What does an internship application involve?

Before you begin:

  • Carefully read through all of the information provided by the institution you are applying to.
  • Submit your application early.
  • Do not wait until the last minute if you want to increase your chances of being successful.
  • Before you hit the submit button be sure that your application is:
    • grammatically perfect
    • clearly expressed
    • and well organized.

Be sure that the contact information that you provide is accurate and professional:

  • do not use crazy e-mail addresses
  • don't leave outrageous voice mail messages on your cell phone.

The cover letter is the most important part of your application. Scientists will be reading your cover letter to get a sense of your goals and preparation to be successful and contribute to their research. Your goal is to:

  • introduce yourself
  • describe your scientific and research interests
  • talk about your long-term goals and
  • explain why you are applying for a summer internship and how you have prepared for the experience.
  • Provide some detail about the type of research you would like to do, what areas of science you wish to explore, and be clear about your previous relevant experience.
  • Proof read your cover letter and have a supportive professor read it for you.
  • Be complete but brief, your cover letter should not be longer than one page;
  • three clear paragraphs are all that will be needed at this stage in your career.

Your resume should be a concise record of your educational history. It should contain the following:

  • contact information
  • schools attended, dates, and degrees received
  • honors and awards
  • work experience
  • research experience
  • volunteer experience and
  • leadership experience. You may not have a long list of experiences at this point, but the quality of the experiences that you have had will be important.

You will be asked to submit the names of teachers and mentors as references who will be contacted and asked to submit a recommendation.

  • Never put someone's name down without talking to them first and ask them to write a supportive letter.
  • Be sure they know the deadline for your application.
  • The recommendation letter should address:
    • your scientific knowledge base and
    • relevant personal traits such as your ability to communicate verbally and in writing and
    • your problem solving skills.
  • Think about who could write you strong letters of support as you progress through your courses at Calvin. This will help you develop a network of mentors who can discuss your experiences and traits, so that whenever you need a letter, you won't have trouble finding someone to support you.
  • Follow up with your recommenders to be sure they have completed and submitted your recommendations on time.

You will also need to submit a record of your courses and grades. Include all of your courses including those you are currently in. Make your list well organized and easy to read.

Secondary

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