Question of the Week: How many internships should I apply to?

Jan. 22, 2021

Question: Hi HPA – do you know how many internships students who get an internship apply to? It’s a lot of work to apply and I’m trying to maximize my time, but I’m also nervous about not getting anything especially in the pandemic.
Answer: There’s no magic number here, but we’d definitely encourage you to apply to any positions a) that you’re really excited about and b) where you feel that you can make a strong case for your “fit” for that program. This fit could be based on academic / research experience (for example, applying for a hematology research experience after writing a paper about a blood disorder that got you interested in studying the science behind it) or personal experience (for example, applying for diabetes research internships because you grew up in a neighborhood afflicted by diabetes). The more excited about the position, the more it’ll feel worthwhile to spend the time on the application; the more personalized your application is, the more likely it is to stand out in a crowded field. It’s always a good idea to keep backup plans in the back of your mind if internships don’t pan out. Some examples from past students: What to do when you’re rejected from both PICS and IIP blog entryideas for a summer spent at home.

QOTW 2020: Ghostwriting a Recommendation Letter
QOTW 2019: CASPer?