by Rebecca Webb
June 21, 2018
Summer is here, the much-anticipated and well-deserved time off!
After you have a rest... read this blog and consider your teenager's prospects for summer internship opportunity.
Fastest way to set your teenager up with a summer internship? Word of mouth.
A summer intership can be a great way for your teenager to have a look at job ideas and an inside look at a company. Equally important, an internship allows your teenager to put work experience on their resume.
Here are a few tips to help locate a summer internship:
1. Summer internships can be as short as one or two weeks or as long as 8 weeks. Shorter internships could give a teenager an inside look at a local company in an industry of interest for university study programs. If the intern has performed well, a resume line item and possibly a recommendation can follow. Further, a good short term working relationship can sometimes lead to an offer to call again during winter break or next summer holiday.
2. Internships through word of mouth. One of the best sure-fire ways to acquire a summer internship, short or long, is through word of mouth referral from someone you know. Simply sending out an email on behalf of your teenager to 10 or 20 like-minded friends and colleagues to ask if anyone may be aware of an opportunity or open to speaking with your teenager about one. It could be as straightforward as that.
3. Have your teen write expression of interest letters to between 5-10 local businesses and organizations. Have them state their interest in inquiring further to a supervisor about a paid or non-paid internship opportunity available, and that they would like to call or stop by to inquire further. Have your teenager give all necessary contact information in the letter, and have your teenager be ready to receive a call, should a call be returned. Practice phone etiquette with them if necesssary, or even a simple script. If your teen (or you) can gather the name of the supervisor beforehand so that the expression of interest letter can be addressed to them specifically, as can the envelope, better still. A typed letter sent through the mail, addressed to the supervisor will help to separate your teen apart from other emailed and phone call inquiries. A type-written letter, done properly, also gives the impression that your teenager is serious about the inquiry and ready to speak further.
4. Your teenager will need to follow up after first communications or a visit to their office. The best way for follow up is a hand written thank you card. If the supervisor is willing to see them in person, writing a thank you card and putting it in the mail the day of the meeting, after the appointment is good, to be received the next day or two. Again, since virtually noone writes hand written cards anymore, this is an opportunity for your teenager to set themselves apart.
5. Consider a summer internship with one of McLean community's non-profits. Oftentimes, the local non-profits are looking for summer volunteers, perhaps interns. Speaking with a supervisor, you may be able to acquire a letter of recommendation upon completion of a certain number of hours. Keep in mind, this may or may not suit as an internship but is still profitable as a resume builder and allowing your teenager to network with local community members. And for the teenager and the non-profit mutually, worth its time to inquire.
6. You may have noticed that I have not specified doing an online internship search. The reason is, internship search online is like going deep sea fishing for the first time without an instructor. There are simply too many variables that you cannot control. Go with steps and methods that keep you separated from the pack.
In conclusion, an internship opportunity is an excellent choice for summer career building. It offers many comparisons to a summer course, but with the added benefit of being hands on. The real world, out of classroom working experience is crucial for developing young and growing minds. Internships have the impact to help shape your teenagers ideas about further study and plans for job prospecting in the future.
Have a wonderful summer and happy prospecting!