As a biology major, finding summer internships can be a stressful and time consuming experience. And it can feel even more difficult as everyone attempts to land the the same coveted research internships. To help you through the process, College LifestylesTM has put together your go-to guide to searching for summer internships as a biology major.
The most important step in searching for any internship is to begin searching early. The Stanford Human Biology department reminds students to apply well in advance for the internship they want. Don’t wait until the month before summer vacation to begin your internship search; by then, most spaces will have been filled.
Begin your search by looking online for general research internships to get a sense of the type of internship you would like. The biology department at The University of Washington suggests doing undergraduate research internships to prepare yourself for the workplace or graduate school. Do you prefer to work in the medical field? Or would you be more well-suited for something in a museum or even at school? Assess your options and the internships being offered to decide which one is right for you.
Use your resources
BioSpace.com tells students to attend job fairs to build your network of contacts. Often times, there are certain employers who specifically recruit students from your school, so be sure to have your resume handy. You can also ask your biology department for a list of internships past students have done. If the list provided isn’t enough, go even further by looking at lists from other schools to get more variety.
Talk to your professors
Professors are an excellent resource for biology internships. See if any of your professors need assistance with their research over the summer or if they can help to connect you with someone they know. Again, remember to approach them early so you are first in line if an opportunity presents itself.
Reach out to alumni
Find out how your can get in touch with biology alumni from your school. Check out LinkedIn or ask in the bio department. Reach out to a few people and ask about assisting them in the workplace or starting by getting in for an interview.
Apply to as many internships as you can. The more you apply to, the more chances you’ll have of getting one when the competition is high. While 20 internships might seem like a high number, a higher number of applications increases your chances and allows you to keep your options open.
If you can’t seem to find internships online or through school, head to the source directly. Go to professors, museums, hospitals and other sources to let them know you are interested. If they don’t offer internships, suggest becoming their first intern. Offer to help in any way you can.
Looking for summer internships can be a stressful experience if you are not well prepared. Keep this guide with you as you start your search to finding the perfect biology summer internship.
Top image courtesy of Elizabeth Angarola.
Middle image courtesy of Photokanok/FreeDigitalPhotos.net.