Welcome to The Economista! Brought to you by your first-year blogger/money-savvy best friend Karine Liu, The Economista is a blog for the budget-conscious Brunonian; check back here each week for the tips and tricks that’ll have you rolling in your own sea of green out on the Main Green in no time!
I’ll start this post with a tiny confession: I am no lover of small talk. While I know that it’s the prelude to the nittier-grittier conversations (i.e. is True Detective a better show than House of Cards, a debate which this writer is pro-HoC by a wide margin) that make or break friendships, I tire of asking and hearing the same sort of questions over and over again: “Where do you live?”, “What are you thinking of concentrating in?”, “Where will you be living next year?”, or “Can you believe this weather?!?!”
While the last question might begin to phase out from conversation as the weather warms (eventually), its more intrusive cousin has started phasing in: “What are your plans for the summer?” And if you’re worried, as I was, that you won’t have an answer for the dreaded question beyond “Netflix, my bed, and a tub of ice cream”, FEAR NOT. Follow THE ECONOMISTA’s guide to nabbing an awesome internship/program using resources set up by Brown!
- So I’ll tell you what I want (what I really really want)
First things first: grab a piece of paper and jot down any ideas of internships or programs that you would love to do. Are you interested in the healthcare field, interning among doctors, nurses, and patients? Or how about working in the business sector, creating presentations and doing data analysis (and possibly/inevitably getting one or two coffees)? Or maybe you’re a vagabond and want to traverse the entirety of South America in the span of three months?
All in all, start outlining to yourself what you want from your summer, especially in relation to your college and post-college plans. Moreover, I’d highly recommend talking to your parents about logistics of your summer activities. Things like housing, transportation, etc. might initially seem secondary to actually getting a gig, but they can really creep up on you if you aren’t careful!
- Prep for CareerLAB
So when your eyes are sparkling with dreams of your perfect summer, it’s time to tackle possibly the scariest part of this whole process: the application. Now, if you’re worried because the program is requesting a million different documents (resume, cover letter, medical history, your first grade report card, etc.), head on over to CareerLAB. The lovely CareerLAB staff is here to help you: from starting your resume with you from scratch to conducting a mock interview, they know their stuff and will make sure you do too. Plus their hours are super convenient; pop in on your way back from class!
- Get BrownConnected
For all Brunonians circa 2014+, we’re all extremely lucky to have this schnazzy website known as BrownConnect. Meant to link alumni, family, and friends of the Brown Community with students, BrownConnect is a web service that students can use to talk to individuals who love Brown and who have professional experience. With a couple of clicks, you can ask questions about different fields, different internship programs, etc. with those who have gone through it all before. And while the database isn’t entirely infinite now, it’s bound to increase exponentially with more use.
The entire world could one day become your Brown community. Start making the most of it now!
- Brute force
In my experience, 50% of the battle of finding a summer internship/program is done when you know what you want and have received the advice/help to get it. Now, you have to make the dream happen: apply to everything that piques your interest. Send out as many emails as you possibly can.
Yes, this sounds crazy. I realize that. But remember that not every application will be accepted and that not every doctor/publisher/writer at the NYTimes wants an intern (although why not a Brunonian, I’m not sure). And sending out as many hooks as you can and later choosing from what tugs back isn’t such a bad spot to be in.
And that’s all, folks! Hopefully, these four steps have relinquished you of your stress and have you on your way to an amazing summer. Just remember to stock up on stories while you’re doing whatever it is you want to: let’s make small talk a thing of the past!
If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions for any topics you’d like to see covered by The Economista, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org! See you next week!