The Parent’s Guide to Summer Internships

Help Your College Student Prepare for Their Career

For college students, summers are for relaxing and de-stressing from the academic year, but they’re also for earning money to get through the school year or getting a head-start on a future career. 

Internships are basically a rite of college passage. Students who get them get a leg-up on their peers when it comes time to apply for jobs after graduation. And the taste of victory when you get to accept a full-time summer internship is so, so sweet: the fruits of your student’s labor have paid off!

At My College Crate, we specialize in care packages for college students, but we also make sure we stay up-to-date on the latest trends for university students. That way, we can make sure our snack boxes are relevant to their interests. So, we’ve put together this guide to help you navigate the concept of modern summer internships for college students.

Tips for Applying to an Internship

Applying for an internship is much like applying for an entry-level position upon graduation. Indeed, applying for internships is also great practice for the big event! 

Human resources will look at internship application materials in a similar fashion as when they look at resumes and cover letters for any other applicant. Students applying for internships will want to perfect their resume design and content, and write a compelling cover letter that explains why they will benefit the company hiring them. 

Many people might advise students to include how passionate they are about an industry or sector in their cover letter; however, that passion does not stand out as much as a cover letter that outlines exactly why they will perform strongly in the position. 

Resumes and cover letters should be pristine, with no typos or other errors. Documents riddled with mistakes will head straight to the vertical file — that is, the trash can — in favor of those carefully written and edited. The quality of the application materials are assumed to be the same quality as your student’s work. You can help them by offering to proofread for errors before they submit their materials.

Most internship applications are online, either on a special company hiring website, or via email straight to the hiring manager or human resources. Your student likely will not need to snail-mail their resumes to their internships of choice. Because of the online application experience, students will need to be timely about submitting materials and meeting all deadlines for the application because submission times likely will be stamped digitally. Even one minute late could disqualify your student from the internship of their dreams.

And finally, there’s the interview. Companies interview internship candidates and vet them as they would any potential employee. To help prepare your student, you could ask practice interview questions and assist them with coming up with thoughtful responses.

Unpaid Internships vs. Paid Internships

Not all internships come with a paycheck. It’s a jarring realization for some! Depending on the internship, your student could be paid hourly, a flat weekly rate, or not at all. Advise your student to check state laws regarding internship pay requirements, as they vary.

Paid internships tend to be more competitive because of the financial incentive involved. However, that does not mean that unpaid internships are worthless! Sometimes getting the experience becomes more important than getting money, especially if it means getting hired more quickly after graduation — or even signing a job offer before finals are even over!

Internships for College Credit

Your student’s university may offer college credit for summer internships. Generally, your student must turn in a portfolio of work or an essay about their internships to “Pass” the internship course. Your student also must sign up for the summer internship course prior to the summer semester.

Ask your student to check with their academic department for more information on how to get college credit hours for their summer internship.

Send Them to Work with a College Care Package

Successfully completing an internship takes brains, determination, and stamina! Keep your college student motivated and going strong with snacks and other treats via care packages from My College Crate!

Our university-themed gift boxes are one of the best ways you can make sure your student is well taken care of, even if you can’t be there every minute. Send your love ASAP, and start shopping now.