I'm here to talk to all you young SEAHO grad students today about getting your summer internships for this summer! Seeing as how I went through all this fun stuff last year I figured I would drop some knowledge on you all to help you prepare for the internship search processes out there.
First off lets make sure that you all know the DEADLINES you all have to meet to even be eligible for these internships. There are a number of internships out there that aren't run through national organizations so there aren't any deadlines to meet unless schools have given them to you.
ACUHO-I and NODA are the two major national organizations that offer internships over the summer. ACUHO-I works primarily with housing departments throughout the country and offers the experiences to both graduate and undergraduate students. THE DEADLINE TO SUBMIT AN APPLICATION FOR ACUHO-I IS JANUARY 10TH. If you are interested in ACUHO-I you can find the rest of the timeline at this link:
NODA is the National Orientation Directors Association and they sponsor internships all over the country working with orientation programs. If you are interested in working with first year transition programs this is the internship for you! THE DEADLINE TO SUBMIT AN APPLICATION FOR NODA IS ALSO JANUARY 10TH. If you are interested in NODA the rest of the timeline can be found at the following link:
After going through the ACUHO-I process I can tell you all from experience it is CRAZY! The entire process will be complete in less than 2 months from the date you turn in your application. Once the positions go up on the ACUHO-I website take all the time you can to look over the job descriptions institutions put up. This is important for all applicants. Don't decide you want to go to a school strictly because you want to be at that school or in that area. Look at what they are offering and make sure you are getting an experience that will help you become a stronger professional. Internships aren't about doing something that you are already comfortable with they are about finding an area you don't have a lot of experience in and gaining a new experience.
After the search period is over the interview process will begin. If I learned one thing about the internship process it would be to make sure you spread out your interviews. There were times when I was interviewing almost every half hour and it got kind of tiring. Make sure you don't over extend yourself and you know what you want out of every interview. Some schools will look good on paper but end up not being what you're looking for. All of your interviews will be either over the phone or on skype. If you aren't really comfortable doing interviews over the phone or via skype then you should find time to brush up on your skills and become more comfortable with it.
Some tips for interviewing:
- Know your strengths and weaknesses
- Know your supervisory style
- Know a little bit about the school you are interviewing with
- Be able to talk about the internship you are interviewing for and why you want that internship
- Be able to talk about yourself outside of your academics and student affairs experiences
All I can really say is be comfortable with yourself and who you are. Don't try to act like the person you think each school is going to want, just be you. If you don't represent who you are in the interview process the internship experience won't be good for you or your host site because they won't be getting the person they thought they were.
Personally, my experience worked out great. A lot of internship site will work with you and give you the experience you want. I got my internship experience at Virginia Tech. My supervisor and I clicked perfectly probably about 10 minutes into my interview. I got my offer from Virginia Tech at noon on the day schools are allowed to start offering. Noon is the earliest any institution can contact someone they are interested in. Make an impression on someone and they will remember you. I went after an experience that I knew was going to benefit me like no other internship that I had interviewed for would.
Like I have stressed throughout this entire blog, find an internship that really reflects who you are and will give you the best experience that you've never had before. I went after an internship like that and I wouldn't trade my experience for anything in the world. Go out there and make me proud!