Students and Summer Planning

Now is the time of year when well-meaning adults and classmates ask, “What are you doing this summer?” While I tend to answer in tones of great despair, it seems that many Princeton students have their plans all sewn up.

Natalie Scholl, a junior in the classics department, will be working in the office of Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann this summer. Scholl was drawn to the internship because it would be in her native Minnesota, only a forty-five minute drive from her parents’ house. Scholl is exploring opportunities in law for after graduation, and said, “It’s good to be involved in local politics.” Scholl credits her extracurricular activities, which include leadership roles in conservative Princeton groups, for helping her to land the internship. She made use of Career Services’ online tools and guidelines in writing her cover letter and organizing her resume. Despite resources from Career Services, Scholl said that one of the hardest things about the internship search “was just knowing where to look.”

Brandon Zamudio ’14, a politics major, will be interning in France this summer. Through OIP, he found a museum internship at Musée de Compiègne. “You can put that I’m not interested in museums,” Zamudio said, who looks at the internship as “exposure to culture and language.” Before coming to Princeton, Zamudio had never taken French, but is now looking at a French certificate. He sees the internship as an opportunity to “be independent internationally and in a different language.” Though the internship application was similar to that of a domestic internship, there was one noticeable difference – the interview was in French. Zamudio said he prepared for it “just like in any other interview,” though he took care to brush up on specific phrases he thought he would need. “If I have a good answer but can’t articulate it, what’s the point?” Zamudio said. Clarified 4/19/2012: Zamudio, while not exploring museum work as a long-term option, still looks forward to exploring related professions during his summer internship.

Also planning on an international internship is Reena Glaser, a sophomore in the psychology department. Glaser found her consulting internship through Birthright Excel, which connects students with internships in Israel. Before coming to Princeton, Glaser had thought of becoming a dentist, and last summer she shadowed dentists and other doctors. However, through personality tests and sessions with Career Services advisors, Glaser found that consulting would be a better fit. She applied for around 30 internships, but was rejected from all but this one. Glaser succeeded in spite of the obstacles of changing her career path in the last year and having “no business learning on campus.” Internships are essential for supplementing a business resume.

Though Zamudio and Glaser’s internships are taking them to different countries, remote internships allow the work to come to you. Lizzie Martin ’14, who is in the Woodrow Wilson School, has two remote internships lined up for the summer. Martin said these opportunities are rare, but found “applying for them to be relatively easy.” She will be working for literary agency and for a literary magazine, which requires her to read manuscripts and write reports. Martin has been working for the literary agency, which is based in New York City, since January. Meeting with Career Services advisors helped Martin land both jobs. “I have a solid resume because of the help I got in Career Services,” Martin said.

These students all have different plans for the summer, but they all approached their searches with great diligence and patience. It can take time to find a dream internship, and sometimes the perfect internship doesn’t present itself right away. What counts is making the most of any opportunity given.