Summer’s Coming. Start NEXT Summer’s Internship Search Now.

A college sophomore recently sent me an email entitled  “Student Seeking Long-Term Advice.” Here’s an excerpt that gets to the gist:

I would love to apply for an internship with Viget next year (probably for Front-End Development). This summer, I’ve already planned to go to Florida to intern there as well as work with a missions organization, so I waited to get in touch with you until after your internship rush died down a bit for your sanity’s sake! I would love to get to know your company, and gain an expert’s critique of my portfolio and resume.

Smart email, smart timing. The internship recruiting rush was indeed dying down, so I had time to do the following:

  1. Share her work with our FED Director.
  2. Get some concrete advice from our FED Director on how to improve her work.
  3. Share that with the student, along with some more general pointers from me.
  4. Speak with the student for almost an hour via Hangout about her interests, plans, and how to become a professional FED.
  5. Add her to my list of promising students to stay in touch with in general.

All of this, an entire year before we might officially evaluate her for an internship at Viget. All of this, thanks to an email that probably took her thirty minutes, at most, to write. She’s proactively building a long-term relationship with Viget as well as jump-starting the long-term learning process required to become a strong front-end developer internship applicant.

I’d love to see more emails from students interested in long-term advice.  At every great company and organization, there’s a person—maybe a recruiter but, just as likely, any member of staff—who feels the same way.

Imagine: you could email that person.

"Just write that email." -- Helen Holmes, Viget Front-End Developer Intern '14

If you’re gearing up for an exciting and productive Summer 2015 Internship, congrats and have a great summer. But think ahead to Summer 2016 by doing three simple things:

  1. Find and research companies you think are doing interesting work.
  2. Figure out whom you can or should email. It might be a general email address, or it might be an individual.
  3. Write that email. Introduce yourself, ask for some advice, and ask to get to know the company.

Do this now. See what happens. Chances are you’ll be able to start a relationship and a learning process that will serve you in ways much more meaningful than going through a mere recruiting process as a standard applicant.

Anna Lewis

Posted in Article Category: #News & Culture