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Other Internship rejections, what next?

  1. Apr 5, 2017 #1
    Recently I have been rejected by nearly every institution/university I applied to, this summer.

    I do have a previous experience "summer internship" from last year. Also, I don't think I am that much bad to be rejected by that much handful of institutions.

    Anyway, I am not complaining. I am still determinant that I must take work experience this summer. But its too late for summer applications right now.

    Is is okay if I contacted professors personally asking for internship or volunteer!? What is your advice?
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 5, 2017 #2


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    Education Advisor

    It might be a little late in the year for this, but it won't hurt to ask around. Start with your own professors and tell them what you've said here - that you've applied around, but haven't found a position yet and ask if they know of anyone looking to hire a student for the summer. It's a lot harder contacting professors from outside your institution. They generally won't have the same obligation to help you out, particularly if they have students from their own institution competing for the positions they have, but it (taking on external students) has been known to happen.

    If you can't get anything academic this summer, don't worry too much about it. There's no rule that keeps students out of good graduate programs because they didn't spend every summer monkeying away in a lab. Change gears and orient yourself towards something else that will either help you develop some non-academic skills, or try to figure out how to get the best paying job that you can.
  4. Apr 6, 2017 #3


    Staff: Mentor

    Sorry to hear you had such bad luck. Did you get any feedback from the rejections?

    @Choppy had a good suggestion. One other possibility is to spend the summer in some volunteer activity. Homeless shelters, animal shelters, food banks, youth outreach programs, are all chronically understaffed. If you have a church, find out about service opportunities through it. Otherwise look at opportunities through local government, habitat for humanity, Salvation Army, etc.

    It may not directly benefit your career at all, but life is so much more than a career.
  5. Apr 6, 2017 #4
    Every research group has a varying labor situation. I tend to recommend that students knock on a lot of doors at their home institution and get established in a group there as a higher priority than seeking shorter term research opportunities elsewhere. I'd keep working that angle.

    I'd also recommend revisiting your resume after a string of rejections. Were you aiming too high, or do you need to improve your resume? Most students are understandably vague in public discussion forums about their resume, but advisers usually need to see the real details to offer tangible suggestions for improvement. If you PM your resume to me, I am happy to offer constructive and private feedback that may improve your odds in the future.

    Depending on your institution and resume, you might also consider broadening your search beyond your major department. Often a physics major can find productive and interesting projects in a different science or engineering department. Do you know where these student job ads get posted at your uni? Looking at your resume and discussing your experience and interests, I can also use my google-fu and develop a short list of faculty in other departments that may be a good match for you.

    It is not uncommon for faculty to have students bail on them for the summer to chase a more attractive opportunity or to simply still be looking for the right student with a specific interest or skill set. Your task is to find that faculty member at your uni.
  6. Apr 6, 2017 #5

    No I didn't get any. Just the usual rejection letters i.e "Thank you for applying, we couldn't offer you a place ............................. we had about 500 applicants for only 20 places and it was very competitive", just the usual.
  7. Apr 11, 2017 #6
    I am on the same boat with you, to make it worse I am an international student studying in US without any plans in the summer... Maybe I will spend my time doing math problem set and blogging... As there are not much to do for somebody who want to study pure math...
  8. Apr 11, 2017 #7
    Not sure what the problem is. Do you need to get paid, or do you just need opportunities to do research?

    It should not be that hard to find faculty at your home institution who can make use of free labor if you have a good GPA, work ethic, and some programming skills.

    You may not yet have the skills for pure math, but there is an awful lot of applied math you can do en route to becoming a pure mathematician.

    Lots of free data available on the web these days. Why not download some and analyze it from different angles? Find a mentor to brainstorm possibilities with. Or just blog or flip burgers. Your choice. Free country (I hope).
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