As the start of spring semester rapidly approaches and I hear about my classmates obtaining various internships and receive several internship opportunity emails from my school listserv, it got me thinking, when is the right time to apply for internships? I’ve always struggled with this, tending to procrastinate deadlines like these. Of course, the time frames differ according to when you want to intern for a organization, but below are some guidelines as to when to apply to an internship:
For a fall internship: Some people suggest to start around spring break. It is always a good idea to start earlier rather than later, but as long as you have your applications in by the start of summer, you should be fine. Of course, pay attention to incoming emails from your school and always have a fresh copy of your resume and a cover letter ready to send off, just in case.
For a spring internship: November is prime time for applying to a spring internship. Many students will apply between November and even early January so be mindful of your competition.
For a summer internship: Many times, summer internships are special or extended programs, so they will require a little more planning. Most students start applying between February to March. But there is no harm in reaching out to an organization and asking when they will being accepting applications for the summer. That way, you’ll be the first in line.
The above guidelines are generalized, some specialized and competitive programs require an application six months to a year prior to the desired internship period. Scope out all of the internships you are interested in and create a timeline for applying.