Internships are an integral part of the student experience at SIPA. They open exciting new doors for our students and expose them to paths they may have never discovered if left to their own devices. While the incoming class doesn’t have to worry about finding an internship (or even a job) right now, it never hurts to learn the tricks to finding your ideal one. And SIPA offers several resources to make the job hunt easier. So one of our program assistants, Tinsley Corbett, MPA ’15, decided to share her job-hunting strategy with all of you. Thus, making it her farewell post on the SIPA Admissions Blog. (While Tinsley writes it from the vantage point of finding that post-graduation job, the tips are still applicable to new students looking for an internship upon enrolling at SIPA.)
Like most second year students, I have spent much of the last semester looking for the perfect post-SIPA job. Over the past few months, I have some learned some valuable lessons that would have been nice to know at the beginning of my search.
Take Professional Development in your last semester
SIPA often encourages students to take this requirement in their first semester, but I find that the two-day weekend course would be far more valuable if taken when actually applying to jobs. That way you can use the class to write a cover letter and do interview practice for a position that you are actually considering for full-time employment after SIPA.
Create a “job agent” on SIPAlink
Instead of sifting through the endless list of jobs posted to SIPAlink, set up an agent to alert you when new jobs are posted in your area of interest. You can up an agent by category, location, or keyword, i.e. “energy” or “San Francisco”. The set-up is simple. After searching your key term click “Email me new jobs”, which shows up under the search bar and you’re done!
Apply to jobs on Mondays
In the United States, at least 30% of Monday job applicants make it to the next stage in the hiring process, according to Bright.com. The least successful application day is Saturday, when only 14% of applicants advance. So, apply Monday for the best chance you’ll have all week! (Chart via QZ.com.)
Use the SIPA network
You never know which professor or classmate has connections to the job you want or a company you are interested in. Everyone is willing to help so it is to your advantage to talk with people about your interests and prospects.
It is easy to let a week or two go by without furthering your search or making any progress. Between school and networking, this is understandable and expected. You can afford to let a few weeks go by, but months matter! This piece of advice was given to me by a professor early on and his resounding voice in my head is what kept me making monthly progress in my search. Whether you follow up with a new connection or touch base with an old one, it is important to keep your job search active—even if that requires tracking activity in an excel spreadsheet. So, even if you slack off for a week, remember that months matter.
—Tinsley Corbett, MPA ’15