When To Start Applying For Summer Internships

By: Tasha Kolesnikova

8 min



When To Start Applying For Summer Internships

Being a college student is not so easy. You should keep so many things in mind if you want to stand out among the other students in the class. Some of them even don't affect your academic performance. But ask yourself: Why are you here? Do you want to get A-grades, or is your primary goal to build a successful career?

Why Getting a Summer Internship?

We bet you're a high-flyer, and that means you should think about your work experience right now, since it is a vital part of your career path. But what should you do if you're not able to work full-time because of your studies? Though you know your final goal, you can't just skip college and set off on some kind of adventure.

The summer internship can be your solution. It is a perfect opportunity to gain experience, develop your skills, and broaden your knowledge. And it can become a good line in your CV. Besides, you never know whether it will be a one-season journey or whether you will get a job offer when the internship is over. In any case, students who work while their peers are watching Netflix have much more opportunities.

Beyond just padding a resume, summer internships unlock life-shaping mentors, visionary projects, and clarifying career experiences. They help answer the lingering question of whether a path like medicine, engineering, or policy is the right fit for your talents and interests.

Internships also build hard and soft skills, making you an adept communicator, critical thinker, and team collaborator. Standing out matters more than ever, and internships provide real-world proof of your abilities.

Summer internships seed professional networks and relationships that blossom for years to come. They are springboards to landing interviews or discovering new roles and niches you’re well suited for.

Now, when you understand that it is your chance to express yourself, it is necessary to stop for a while. You need to find the internship program, research its requirements, write your cover letter, etc. We recommend you start this preparation process in advance so that you know when the application process for summer internships starts and don't miss your deadline.

Summer internship opportunities

Where Do I Find Internship Opportunities?

First of all, try to get the most out of your high school or college. Head over to its career center to ask about available programs. Many educational institutions have digital databases where you can find a good offer. Don't hesitate to accept other career services like help with your CV or cover letter, masterclasses, unpaid internships, and so on.

The next option is to check industry blogs. They contain information about companies that are looking for summer interns, specific programs, job search tips, etc. It is a good chance to find out about some startups that are not famous enough but are able to provide you with the experience you need.

Keep your eyes and ears open, and let everyone around you know that you're looking for a paid summer internship. Write down all interesting opportunities and highlight the start date and deadline for all of them. It is time to start the preparation.


When we say "in advance," we mean really early. Autumn is the time when you need to get yourself situated and start thinking about plans for the next summer.

It would be a bad idea to find a list of internship opportunities and just apply to all of them. You need to find something that meets your professional interests and that will help you earn some brownie points. Besides, your cover letter should be personalized, and it is impossible when you know nothing about the company. You will need to ask your professors to write recommendation letters, and it takes time as well.

That's why you need time to research the market, find information about companies on social media, understand their requirements, and fill in some gaps if necessary.


Now, when you have a shortlist of companies and internship programs, you need to approach the application process responsibly. Though you're not a real professional yet, it is essential to start working on your reputation. You can't skip informational interviews or send poor cover letters because recruiters will remember you.

So, try to make the right decisions: choose the companies you really like and make sure your application meets their expectations. You still have enough time before most deadlines, and it means you can polish your skills and boost your grades if necessary. For example, if the company of your dreams is looking for a computer science intern, it may want you to work with specific software. Take your time to master it, and it will make your internship application more powerful.

Winter can also be a good time to work on your cover letter. Think of what hiring managers expect to read from you, and write several drafts to practice. You can also hire a professional author who will help you convey your thoughts and express yourself.


It is important to understand that each company has its own deadlines and requirements. That's why you can't just apply for all programs at once and call it a day.

There is a check-list that will help you stay organized and relaxed throughout the whole process:

  • Make a schedule. It would be a great idea to print a big calendar with boxes for each day or the week of the application process. Fill them with the most important information: the company's title and the deadline. It will help you not forget about some programs and think about only one task at a time.
  • Get your "application packs" prepared. Create folders on your desktop for each program you're going to apply for. They should contain all necessary documents, including recommendation letters.
  • Ask for professional help. If you're not sure if you're able to devote enough time to the application process because of your studies, it doesn't mean you should give up. You can outsource this task to experts who will ensure you haven't missed something vital.
  • Ask for feedback. When you're applying for internship programs and discussing these opportunities with recruiters, use this situation to your advantage. Try to analyze your weak and strong points and areas of development.

Now, when you understand that the application process requires much time and effort, you are already one step ahead. It is the perfect place to start working on your knowledge and skills and to build great plans for your future career. It will be a summer you'll never forget!

Take the Summer to Prepare for Next Year

The weeks between school years offer the perfect window to get a jumpstart on upcoming internship cycles. Beyond just relaxation, leverage the summer break to research companies and opportunities of interest for the following summer. Attend relevant conferences or workshops to start networking and building connections.

Identify and prepare for the prerequisite skills or software mastery required for roles that intrigue you. For example, take online courses to learn SQL for data analytics gigs.

You can also volunteer with local non-profits to bulk up your community service credentials. Just a few weeks of volunteering go a long way toward showcasing initiative and passion.

Create or refresh online profiles that position you as an attractive candidate. Make sure LinkedIn and Handshake profiles showcase relevant coursework, leadership, and skills. The summer window is perfect for gearing up to hit the ground running.

Application timeline for summer internship

5 Tips for Applying to Summer Internships

With so many students vying for coveted summer experiences, smart tactics can help your applications shine:

  1. Spotlight transferable skills from past roles, volunteer projects and coursework that make you an asset
  2. Convey aligned values and genuine interest in the company’s vision and offerings
  3. Proofread obsessively. Typos or vague descriptions undermine otherwise strong profiles
  4. Apply early! Beating seasons’ peaks ensures your materials get reviewed
  5. Follow up and check in periodically if you haven’t heard back on an application

Stand Out With Strong Resumes and Cover Letters

Our writing team readily partners with students to showcase their strongest selves through resumes and cover letters that land their dream summer internships.

We dive into your experiences, skills, and goals to build compelling profiles for each application.

Tailored resume drafting highlights campus leadership, technical abilities, and research, best positioning you as a contributor. We ensure optimal, skimmable formatting as well, so recruiters quickly capture capabilities.

Cover letters express genuine passions for target roles through narratives aligning values with the company's mission. Conveying a competitive edge with personalized details also builds connections to evaluate you closer.

With internships more competitive than ever, resumes making short lists rely less on just GPAs and past brands than on the impact, insights, and abilities conveyed behind each bullet. Our A-team of strategists, researchers, and wordsmiths guides you towards crafting materials that leap off the page. Let us know how we can collaborate to showcase your talents beyond the transcript!

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I studied sociology and marketing at Europa-Universität Viadrina (Germany) and Universidade da Beira Interior (Portugal). When I was a sophomore, back in 2018, I decided to put what I've learned into practice, so I got my first job in digital marketing. I currently work in the content marketing department at Studybay, building strong, effective, and respectful communication between the platform and our clients.

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