WHAT ARE YOU doing this summer? It is a loaded question on campus that has the power to elicit responses ranging from pure panic to “humble brags.” Finding an internship can be a frustrating and tiresome process, especially for freshmen and sophomores. As a frosh, I wanted to explore tips to find and capture the right internship by asking upperclassmen how they found internships when they themselves were freshmen or sophomores.
When is the right time to start researching for internships?
Well, it depends and can range from as early as summer through March. According to Petra Grutzik, a senior computer science major at Stanford, it’s never too early to start your search. When Petra was a freshman, she participated in Stanford’s Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program—an incredibly productive way to gain experience as a first year, without having to navigate the world of interview prep books and LinkedIn. The following summer, Petra interned for the Microsoft Explore program—a rotational software engineering internship specifically designed for freshmen and sophomores. These “pipeline” programs are popping up all over the place in almost every field and are worth looking into. And as for when to start applying, Petra tells PULSE that as a computer science major, she likes to start searching mid-summer and a year in advance because “a lot of software companies will start interviewing as early as August for the following year.” She continues, “it is also nice to start interviewing early so that you are done with interviews before fall quarter gets too intense. This is super early though. Most recruiting for software [companies] happens in the Fall.”
Walking through the career fair at Tresidder Memorial Union, I learned that many other established, big companies start their intern hiring process a year in advance—including Goldman Sachs, McKinsey, and the like. Therefore, keeping track of deadlines for a range of companies is crucial—you don’t want to miss out on what’s right for you. But not to worry, after the October/November fall deadlines, the next batch of applications occur mid-January through March. In fact, many industries won’t even start the hiring process until Spring.
Where do I even start with applications? What companies should I apply to?
One great way to start your internship research is to look at products you love as a consumer or topics you personally find interesting. If you have a particular company in mind, they usually have a career page on their website with job openings. It doesn’t hurt to check those company listings and see if you would be a good candidate for an intern position. A useful resource is Handshake, which all Stanford students already have—just use your Stanford email address to get started and from there you can start browsing job listings. LinkedIn is another tool for connecting with recruiters, alumni, and people in the industry you want to work in.
It’s totally normal and expected to feel overwhelmed or stuck in the internship application process. While you may find yourself facing rejection from multiple companies, the great thing about Stanford is you’re not on your own. Stanford’s BEAM: Bridging Education, Ambition and Meaningful Work, is an essential resource on campus that can help through all stages. They host résumé and cover letter workshops, assessments such as Myers-Briggs Typology Indicator to provide feedback on possible careers based on your personality, and individual appointments with career coaches for students. Within the sea of emails in your inbox, try to keep a closer eye on emails from BEAM, academic advisors, and organizations who make announcements regarding companies looking for interns—especially freshman and sophomore opportunities.
But when you really want a position and there isn’t an online application for it, sometimes the best way to get your foot in the door is to reach out yourself. Find an appropriate contact, such as a recruiter or someone who works on a particular team you’re interested in, and shoot them an email highlighting why you’re interested in what their company is doing and how you think you can contribute. Pro tip: find a Stanford alum whose career path you admire. The Stanford alumni network is known to be extremely supportive of Stanford students and I can’t tell you how many fellow Cardinal have gotten their first job through an alumni connection. You can even just ask their advice or if they have time to grab coffee and talk about how they got to where they are—you never know what opportunities may come about from a simple chat over a shared interest.
And once you catch a company’s interest, you’re on to the next step: interviews. Even though prepping for an interview is nerve-wracking, junior Susannah Meyer recalls how before her technical interviews, “I tried not to get caught up in excessively studying [for the interview]… so I reviewed some basic material and just worked on being able to present my thoughts out loud to the interviewers.” Susannah interned for Bloomberg as a freshman and Facebook as a sophomore. For both companies she explains how she had “two technical phone screens—some of which include typing code into a Google document or other software with the interviewer on the phone—and then on-site interviews.” Petra provides a key reminder that with technical interviews, practice makes perfect.
And for those of us whose anxiety levels reach an all-time high at just the thought of an interview at our dream company, BEAM provides a particularly useful service—mock interviews—where they give advice on effectively marketing yourself in an interview. You can practice with career coaches or even attend interview lab sessions. BEAM also has a bank of articles and know-how about internships from applying all the way to turning your summer gig into a full-time job.
It’s fair to assume that the difficulty for freshmen and sophomores to secure internships stems from not having as much work experience as upperclassmen. Luckily, many companies are realizing the value in catching talent early and have internships programs specifically for first and second years—and even more are more than willing to hire younger candidates if they’re the right fit. A recommendation for building your résumé with experience is to find projects outside of class (ie: student organizations, outside projects) that show your vested interest in a particular field.
In the meantime for underclassmen, try some of these tips if you haven’t already. And remember to push through frustration when the internship process doesn’t seem to be going your way. We’ve all been there. And lastly, never ever underestimate yourself—you got here for a reason and you have something to offer. Happy interning!
By: Isabel Dibble
This year marks the 7th year for Frost Music & Arts Festival. The festival, which included performances by Ravyn Lenae, Monte Booker and headliner Glass Animals, was held at Stanford Stadium for the second year in a row due to renovations at Frost Amphitheater. Along with an extensive art exhibition of original artwork created by student artists (and curated by Mitzi Harris), student performers Sister Supply—composed of members Maggie McGraw, Lucia Johnson, Christine Kazanchian, Christie Dawson and Madeleine Bouton—and rapper Son Kuma, aka Barron Montgomery, opened the stage.
The festival is the brainchild of Stanford Concert Network (SCN)—a student-led organization that brings live music to Stanford's bubble. With months of extensive planning along with the help of Goldenvoice, the SCN staff came together for their last hurrah before the end of the year to put on their biggest annual festival.
Tommy Choi, Advisory Board: “Despite the enormous hurdles of moving to the stadium last year, this year’s Frost was the the smoothest one to date. We had an incredible team that worked endlessly all year to make this day happen.”
Angela Black, Director: "Planning Frost Music & Arts festival was one of the most rewarding experiences of my entire life. Coming together with such an incredible team showed me the immense value of collaboration. Frost and all its success would have never happened if it weren't for my co-directors, the production team, the marketing team, the Art lead, the press managers, our staff advisors, and so, so many more stakeholders. Though it's cheesy to say, with all the ups and downs and ins and outs, the Frost planning committee truly has become like a family. Of course, however, my favorite part of all of Frost was what we were all there for: Glass Animals. Their philosophy around humanity, recognizing the power and value of every human experience, shown through even more than the light reflecting off their pineapple disco ball on stage. I saw it not only in their performance as they celebrated different sounds and songs, but in person too. They were by far the COOLEST artists I've met this year. Dave Bayley, if you ever read this, please, let's hang out some more."
Tony Bruess, Director: "The 7th Annual Frost Music & Arts Festival exceeded our expectations. Student acts Sister Supply and Son Kuma highlighted the impressive musical talent on campus. Openers Ravyn Lenae and Monte Booker brought their A-game. As the sun set, headliner Glass Animals dazzled us all. Looking forward to next year, we are excited to bring Frost back to the newly renovated Frost Amphitheater."
By: Caroline Moon
Special thanks to George Sivulka for helping photograph the event.
Special thanks to SCN for event access
"Each year, students are selected to display their art at Frost Music & Arts Festival. This year, the show is curated around the Frost 2018 headliner, Glass Animals, as well as the aesthetics of music, the diversity of voices within our Stanford community, and the unique interaction of each artist with sound.The visualized music featured in this interactive exhibition will heighten your engagement with lyrical melodies and help you, quite literally, See the Sound. " Mitzi Harris
We applaud all student artists and performers that have participated in this year's Frost Music & Arts Festival. A special shout-out to Mitzi Harris for putting this together!
By: Caroline Moon
ON THE ROOF OF A BEVERLY HILLS MANSION. In a yoga studio. Inside the lobby of a San Francisco boutique hotel. Overlooking a Malibu beach as the sun sets.
With Sofar Sounds, a global organization redefining concert-going, I’ve had the opportunity to enjoy live music in unorthodox locations like these (and many more). As fun as concerts are, everyone knows the frustration of standing right behind the tallest guy in the building or that one person that just has to film the entire set on their phone. In 2009, two friends from London, feeling that the magic of hearing live music had been lost, started inviting people over to their flat to listen to musicians. Pretty soon, Sofar Sounds (which stands for “SOngs From A Room”) was born.
The process goes as follows: after going to sofarsounds.com and selecting your city, you choose a date and general neighborhood (i.e. The Mission or Union Square for San Francisco) and apply for tickets. If accepted, you pay the small ticket price (typically $20) and Sofar sends you the exact address the day before the event. Perhaps the most unique part of the whole experience is that you have no idea who’s performing until you show up to the venue—you could walk in to see Ed Sheeran or Hozier, or you could walk away with a new favorite band.
In these intimate settings, experiencing live music feels incredibly personal—the performer isn’t elevated on a stage, the music is stripped down and acoustic, everyone sits on the floor, and the audience respects the artist; this intimacy is what drew me to keep coming to shows.
Currently, you can attend a Sofar show in 406 different cities around the world, from Nairobi to Nashville, Tijuana to Tokyo, and everywhere in between. Sofar’s global presence almost guarantees that no matter where you are on the planet you can always catch a show, making the world feel a little bit smaller. I’ve tried to explain this sense of community to a few of my friends on our way to an SF show last quarter, but I had no idea how absolutely minuscule the world would soon seem.
As we strolled into the venue (the Couchsurfing headquarters in Potrero Hill) and looked over the lineup of performers for the evening, I couldn’t stop staring at one of the names. “Brett Hunter.” Why did that seem so familiar? Then it dawned on me—I turned to my friends with wide eyes and said, “oh my god, I’m pretty sure that’s my cousin.” I hadn’t seen Brett, my cousin by marriage, since he sang at his grandfather’s (my step-grandfather’s) funeral years ago. After his set, I approached him and explained the connection, and he was equally as blown away; he also just happened to be wearing a hat that belonged to our grandfather that night. If I didn’t believe in the magic of Sofar before, this reconnection with an obscure relative certainly proved it to me.
With shows in San Francisco almost every night, Sofar Sounds offers the perfect escape from campus and an opportunity to immerse yourself in live music in a totally new way. Just be warned—after attending your first show, you might become addicted.
By: Hannah Scott
Photography by: Hannah Scott