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Etiquette in emailing a physics professor for an internship

  • Thread starter sleventh
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  • #1
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Main Question or Discussion Point

Hello All,

I am currently emailing a professor I hope to intern under but am unsure what to say. What are the key things to bring up when emailing in such a situation? and more specifically, how can I show interest in his work without sounds brown nose-ish? I am having a hard time finding his research papers and feel that just using the "key words" in his bio might be too vague. Thank you for any help!

sleventh
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
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i think you should meet him in person.
 
  • #3
Choppy
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Well, what is it you want to find out? Is there a specific formal internship that you're trying to get, or are you simply interested in this person's work and trying to find out if he has a spot available for summer students?

It doesn't have to be an immaculate email. Keep it relatively simple and to the point, polite, and make an effort to use proper grammer (one would think that last point wouldn't need to be pointed out, but it always amazes me how many university students type like they haven't passed elementary school).
 
  • #5
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@ Dickfore: The email is asking to meet him in person, but I do not want to give a poor first impression.

@Choppy: The internship is nothing in specific, so the email will be out of the blue. I am hoping to gain experience and maybe a good recommendation. But you are right, K.I.S.S., I am probably over complicating the email. Reading the email just seems to show I'll probably be more weight then contribution so i'm wondering how I could show interest and knowledge about his research, and maybe what qualifications, if any, I should bring up.
 
  • #6
Choppy
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I wouldn't worry too much about demonstrating interest and knowledge in his research specifically, although it's not a bad idea for that initial contact to come across like a cover letter. Indicate what level you're at, what your interests and goals are, and that you would like an opportunity to discuss the potential for any research or intern opportunities this person might have. You can highlight any major achievements you've made, and skills such as programming or anything that might be related to what this person does.
 

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