Whether this is your first time applying for internships or your third, there are definitely mutual feelings of doubt and defeat that float around during this stressful time. When you think about all of the heavy lifting that happens behind the scenes, it can be overwhelming. Here are a few tips of mine to make the process less paralyzing and more organized for you to accomplish in the midst of working, schooling, and trying to still have a social life this summer.
Get Organized (electronically)
The best way to get yourself organized is to create a list.
Who doesn’t love lists?
List all of the hospitals in an Excel spreadsheet, with each hospital having their own Excel sheet (pictured below)
and keep track of a few key items that will be important/helpful for you when you’re ready to start tackling the application process.
- Name of hospital & internship coordinator
- Address for where to send application once complete
- these first two bullet points are especially helpful for when you’re ready to start writing your cover letters (click here for additional support with writing your cover letter)
- just a quick copy and paste and you’re good to go
- Application requirements/checklist for each specific hospital
- some hospitals will require additional essays + applications rather than just the Common Internship Application on the ACLP website
- make sure you’re looking for those on each hospital’s website and being mindful of how many places you’re applying to that require more so that you know how to best be utilizing your downtime
By doing this in an Excel spreadsheet, you’ll have EVERYTHING ready to go in front of you when you’re ready to begin.
Get Organized (physically)
It is SO important to keep yourself organized and sane during this process. On top of your Excel spreadsheets, I highly recommend having file folders for each hospital so that you can put your tangible items such as your transcripts, signed and sealed letters of recommendation, additional applications/essay questions, resume and cover letters once you finalize or receive them.
Get Organized Grammatically
Lastly, there’s nothing worse than turning in your application and receiving an email from the internship coordinator stating that your application was filled with spelling errors or that your application was incomplete by something super simple that you just happened to overlook. Read the essays, resume bullet points, and cover letter OUT LOUD. It is the best way to catch spelling and grammar mistakes. I highly recommend, if you’re completing a practicum, to see if any of those child life specialists you’re shadowing would be willing to look over some or all of your application materials. Use your resources!