The Summer of Applications
This summer was a learning experience for me. I decided that since I wasn’t doing an internship this summer, I felt like I needed to do one during the school year. Previously, I hadn’t decided what I could see myself doing in the future. However, after taking Professor Michael Porter’s Business of Music class, I realized that I had an interest in music business. Once I came to this conclusion, it was a little easier to start researching companies and internships for the fall.
Thus, my summer of applications began. The first step was to build a more suitable resume. Vanderbilt’s career center actually has a really good resume template that I used to create a whole new resume. I had a resume in high school, but I figured that now that I had one year of college under my belt and several new activities, it was time to revamp the resume.
Next was the cover letter. The career center also has tips on how to write a good cover letter, and if that isn’t enough for you, feel free to google to your heart’s content. My tip for when it comes to cover letters is this: one letter can usually suffice for all applications for the same business/industry. Just change some names, add something related to each company you apply to, and add skills of use specific to that company. But don’t forget to always double check that all the names are correct!
Once I had the proper tools, it was time to start applying. I started by looking on job sites such as Glassdoor and Indeed with keywords such as music or music business. After that, it came down to sorting through pages and pages of ads and determining what I was interested in, and what I qualified for. This took hours upon hours and was an ongoing process throughout the summer. If you are internship hunting during the summer, my tip is to check the job sites every week, as ads are posted and removed nearly every day.
After narrowing applications down, the last step was to apply. Applying can seem tedious at times as you fill out nearly identical questionnaires for every company and write dozens of personal essays about why you should intern with that company. Over time it becomes easier, and it also teaches you how to write concisely and self-evaluate. And interviews teach you how to speak calmly and professionally. What I’ve learned this summer about applications is that employers don’t always respond to you with an answer. If you don’t hear back within a month, it is probably safe to assume that you did not receive the position. This became a rule of thumb for me after not hearing back from about 15 companies… not every application is successful, but putting out as many applications as you can means a higher chance of hearing back from at least one place.
Although the process was tough, it was a good experience to be proactive and feel like I was taking control of my future. And in the end, it paid off. You’ll have to read my next blog to find out just what my summer of applications resulted in…