Question of the Week: What internships to apply to as a first-year with many interests?

Friday, Nov 20, 2020

Question: I'm interested in medicine, tech, environmental policy, and non-profit work as possible career options. When I look at internships, I have no idea where to start to narrow down the options. Do you have any advice?

Answer: Just in terms of time and triage, we'd recommend starting with Princeton-sponsored internships, since many have an early deadline (December 7, the day before Dean's Date, when you may have written work due). Both PICS and IIP list their internships by interest area, so read through the listings for your interests. See if any stand out to you in terms of what you'll learn, any personal connection to the opportunity, and what related skills you've already developed that you could highlight in your application. Being able to craft a personalized cover letter and a targeted resume are key in the internship search.

Most of the other health-related internships will have deadlines during or after winter break, so you'll have a little bit more time to think about those possibilities, and researching the Princeton options may help you narrow down what you're looking for a little more. To learn more about opportunities outside of health, Career Development can provide some guidance. If you choose a non-medical internship, consider adding a weekend volunteer shift at a hospice, hospital, community health center, or other site where you can work with a population with medical needs and gain familiarity with a clinical environment (if the pandemic permits such activities). Students who find some time to serve patients over the summer often find it motivating--it helps to have "your patients" in mind while working through challenging prehealth sophomore courses.

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