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Summer Research and Internships

Powerpoint on summer research and internships

Many students don't realize how important it is to get experience during their undergrad years. Employers, med schools and grad schools alike will look favorably upon real-world experience related to science. It is important for you to start thinking about internships early in your undergraduate career. One reason is because you will need letters of recommendation.

Letters of Recommendation

In a large university, it is important to make an extra effort to get to know your professors so that you can ask them for a letter of recommendation. Regardless of your specific career goals, you will probably need a letter of recommendation or a reference. Get to know your professors by attending office hours, prepared with some specific questions to ask. Many summer programs require two letters of recommendation.

You should ask for a letter of recommendation well before deadlines for summer programs. Most deadlines are in January or February. Some professors do need multiple reminders, while others are very organized and would not ever forget you. Usually the professor knows which of the two he or she is, and you can ask them if they will need a reminder before the deadline.

Prior Experience

Although most summer programs do not require it, prior lab experience will help you land an internship. Take required lab courses sooner rather than later, and take lab courses that could help you fulfill elective requirements (i.e. Chem 221 for a chem elective). The best form of prior experience that Binghamton has to offer is research in a lab.

Types of Summer Programs

There are different kinds of institutions that look for summer interns, so which should you choose?

Academic Research

Industry Internships

Health Care/Pre-Med

Federal Government Internships

Internships at Non-Profit Organizations

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Last Updated: 12/2/11