Finding Summer Opportunities: Networking

Last year, I fell into my summer internship. That means I found my internship through networking with classmates and their connections. How the story goes: I did a research presentation for a class about developing career services strategies specifically for Asian American students. After class, a classmate, who worked full-time a the career services office for the business school, approached me to talk about my presentation. We talked about our common interest in career services and what issues were arising in his career services office. When I expressed my interest in a particular issue concerning serving international students, he offered to connect me with one of his colleagues in the office. I scheduled an informational interview via Skype with one of the international student services coordinator when we talked about how I could help around the office. From that informational interview, I landed a summer internship in helping a student population I was interested in improving my skills and learning more strategies.

The takeaway of the story is that you can create your own internship or research experiences by identifying key departments, people, or professors who interest you. Set up a 15-30 minute informational interview with a person to talk about their work and their daily life around the office. Ask them questions about what is missing in the office and see if you can volunteer your time to help them out to solve these issues. This will help you tailor your summer internship/research experience based on the issues that you are passionate about!