With fall semester and SciTech’s new program year well underway, the time to start searching and applying for internships is now. STEM students find paid internships though SciTech throughout the year, so it’s never too early to start checking the SciTech job board and sending out applications.
Before you do, check out this interview with SciTech intern Clay Whipp on how his approach to employer outreach and applications landed him multiple job offers.
(This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity)
Clay Whipp is a mathematics major at Macalester College. After applying through SciTech, he secured a paid internship with Solar Plastics LLC in Delano, Minnesota.
Tell me about your experience using SciTech to find an internship. What worked for you?
Whipp: Well first of all, there’s an incentive for employers to hire you when you go through SciTech because [the program] helps them pay you, so that helped a lot. I also really like that all the positions listed on the job board are STEM and, because the board was so tailored, applying was way more manageable. Reaching out is really easy too. The hiring manager’s phone number is right there so you can contact them directly. SciTech also sends out a New Job’s email every week, which is a great motivation to look through the job board and apply.
We had at least two different employers say they were interested in hiring you. What about your approach lead to this success?Whipp: Job applications can be daunting. Last year I drafted a cover letter-style email and just sent it out to multiple people. I didn’t really know what I wanted to do, and it showed. That went poorly. I got no responses.
Then, when I reapplied after finals I made two major changes: I started with a phone call, talking with them directly. After that it would usually lead to them asking for a cover letter, which I tailored to the company and emailed to them. The call solidified it, and it even sometimes led to a phone interview which would lead to in-person interviews.
What advice would you give to other students about the search and application process on SciTech’s job board?
Whipp: Be prepared. Do some research about the company you’re applying at before you reach out to them. And have something prepared to say about yourself and why you’re a good fit. Your first email to them should be brief. Employers are busy so respect their time.
Whip put together a four-point guide for applying to internships through SciTech, based on his experience and success. You can reference it here.