Starting college can mean a whole lot more learning experiences than just going to classes. Many students spend their summers at Tufts, at home, and around the country working jobs and internships. I asked around the admissions office about what other interesting jobs students are working over the summer!
How did you get your internship?
Alex: I applied online through the governor’s internship application. Tufts was extremely helpful when it came to my resume and cover letter, I went in over winter break and got assistance with structuring my resume, and the career center advisor edited my cover letter.
Jillian: My Art History Advisor recommended that I applied for an internship at the MFA and when they went online I sent a resume and cover letter.
Alekya: I found out about the Laidlaw Scholars program (part of the Tisch College for Civic Life) from my faculty mentor and decided to apply! This allows me to conduct my own research project with a faculty mentor for the next two summers, while being funded through this program. It also allows me to go through leadership training and support for six weeks each summer.
How has Tufts helped you in preparing you for the work your doing?
Alex: The people skills that I have learned from Tufts that have been the most beneficial. Whether its interacting with professors at office hours or just generally learning how to be a hard worker, Tufts has helped in a lot of small ways.
Sarah: I learned a lot about the legal construction of race in my class Race in America with Prof Jean Wu as a part of my colonialism studies minor. I’ve had some really interesting conversations with different attorneys about how their conception of the prison system influences how they prosecute.
Jillian: I took a museum studies class with Professor McClellan last year and it has been very cool to see the theoretical discussions from my class come up in real meetings at the MFA. I also work at the Tufts Art Galleries as a gallery attendant and it has been super helpful to ask all of the staff there about their experiences in the art world.
One piece of advice on getting an internship, applying, or picking where to work?
Sarah: Don’t stress!! My biggest piece of advice regarding internships over the summer is to focus on being mindful and in the moment, not everything you do has to be a stepping stone to something else. If you get an internship in the summer that will make you happy, not just in the future but over the summer, then go for it! If you are going to dread going to work everyday and are just working for your professional future, I think you are not valuing your own time as much as is due.
Jillian: Get to know everyone in your office! Meet with people from various departments and be sure to do a bit of research about them beforehand (cough cough LinkedIn stalk them). You will learn a lot and these are great times for you to solidify your “elevator pitch” that combines your academic track, extracurriculars, plans for the future.
Alex: If you are scared about putting yourself out there, afraid that you’re going to mess something up, it is so much better to screw up at an unpaid internship than when you go to your real job! During your internship, do not be afraid of downtime. If your office is slow, talk to your boss about why they are working there, maybe explore the database that you have access to, or ask if you can walk around the office building.
Why did you choose to do an internship over the summer? Do you feel like the Tufts community pressures you to need to do an internship? Do you feel like you need one to be responsible pre-professionally?
Sarah: I have just been really unsure about what I want to do after college and an internship seemed like a way to test how I want to spend the rest of my life.
Jillian: I knew I wanted to be at Tufts for the summer and I knew I wanted to intern at a museum. A lot of my friends are doing internships, but a lot of them are working at camps or ice cream parlors. I think I needed an internship this summer to further explore the museum field, but not everyone needs professional experience over the summer!
What are you excited to/ have taken back to campus from your experience at your internship?
Sarah: I’ve actually learned that I don’t want to do prosecution in the future! That has been hugely valuable as I now know that I want to go to law school, but to pursue public policy.
Jillian: I am excited about how collaborative the museum is and the many jobs I have never even heard of! From this internship, I am thinking of pursuing a career in museum interpretation.
Alex: I enjoyed working in the civil servant realm, which really was up in the air for me. It has taught me about the behind the scenes of government and I will definitely put state government work on the map in my realm of my possible professional future.
Alekya: I’m really excited to take leadership experience to my own studies! I have enjoyed being able to play an active role in every part of the research project. After my next summer, I will hopefully have a paper started as well to get my senior thesis started!
Getting to know our interviewees
Jillian is a double major in Art History and Education and she is interning at the Department of Contemporary Art at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. Sarah is a double major in Political Science and Philosophy and is minoring in Colonialism Studies, and is working at the District Attorney’s office in the Child Protection Unit. Alex is majoring in International Relations and has minors in English and Chinese; he’s working at Governor Charlie Baker’s office in Boards and Commissions. Alekya studies Biopsychology and is a research assistant at the Tufts Applied Cognition Lab.
Photo Credit: Jason Costanza | Flickr