Applying early key to landing summer internships


As classes wrap up and finals are quickly approaching, some students also are facing stress from another source — their search for summer jobs and internships.

Career Services Coordinator Bill Morgan said there is no particular date when students should begin searching for internships, but for most students, Thanksgiving weekend was the kickoff time for students thinking about spring semester or next summer internships and jobs.

“(For) some majors they are getting earlier and earlier every year,” Morgan said, commenting the earliest deadlines tend to be for engineering and supply chain management fields. “Employers try to lock someone up for the following summer as early as they can.”

Morgan said he recommends students update their résumés and touch base with references during winter break so that when they arrive back on campus, they will have all of their application materials ready as they search for jobs.

Computer engineering senior Brad Garrod, who attends career fairs in the fall to search for summer internships, said he tries to begin his internship applications early while companies are competing to get their openings out to students.

Just a few weeks ago, Garrod found out he will be an intern at IBM this summer.
“It is a very quick interview process,” Garrod said of his IBM internship. “They told me they gave an offer so quickly so they wouldn’t miss out on an opportunity as well.”

Garrod said he has found his internships through career fairs hosted by Career Services at MSU.

MSU alumnus Devan Sayles said through applying for summer internships early, she got a summer internship with General Mills in Minneapolis that later turned into a permanent job. Sayles, who graduated in 2012 and majored in computer science and media and communication technology, now is a programmer analyst and helps develop the company’s online presence.

Sayles said she met a recruiter at a career fair the fall of her junior year and knew she had the summer internship by Thanksgiving.

“A lot of the companies that are really competitive are starting earlier and earlier, and they want the top candidates,” Sayles said.

Although Career Services & Placement will host a career and internship fair at the end of January, Morgan said students should not just rely on internship fairs for their job search.

“It’s not like employers sit on things until a fair comes along,” Morgan said. “They might say we’re going to go to a couple of fairs in January and February, (but) people might already be finding those opportunities. If you wait for the fair, you might be at the back of the line.”

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