Craft A Unique Experience

Crafting A Unique Experience

Many organizations do not recruit through a formal process, but that doesn’t mean they do not have interns. Preparation is needed for a successful experience and students are encouraged to begin this process early. OCS provides access to thousands of opportunities around the globe and also helps students craft an experience to fit their unique interests.

  • Step One: Determine Your Goals – Is the internship a way to try out a career field, engage in research, or participate in an independent study project? Do you want to improve your foreign language skills or explore a new culture? A great place to start is to understand your career interests, personal values, and skills.
  • Step Two: Make Contact – Building new professional relationships is essentially networking. OCS has numerous resources to help you through this process on our Networking page. Reach out to alums through Cross Campus, LinkedIn, and the Peer Networking Lists in the Career Library in Yale Career Link.
  • Step Three: Develop A Learning Plan – After connecting with an individual or organization interested in considering you for an internship, it is important to clarify expectations (both yours and the employer’s) for the experience to be meaningful. Consider developing a Learning Plan in collaboration with your supervisor, which is a document that articulates summer goals, how you will achieve and evaluate them, and the structure of supervision.

Other tips for creating your own professional experience include:

  • Be flexible and consider a number of ways to create a professional opportunity: volunteering, part-time jobs, short-term internships, remote micro-internships, remote internships, and shadowing.
  • Make a list of all the businesses/organizations of interest in your hometown. What functions do they have that they may need support with? Do they have any opportunities for a part-time student to create something they need?
  • Expand the list of potential employers in your hometown by using the following resources: Guidestar, and CareerShift (Company Search). Also, check out your local Chamber of Commerce Directory for more ideas.
  • Consider hometown connections who may be able to assist you: family, friends, past teachers/coaches, past supervisors, high school alumni, a Yale Alumni Club in your area.
  • If you are looking for part-time work, you may need to call businesses directly or email your resume to them. This may include remote micro-internships, or part-time or freelance work including online tutoring, etc.
  • Use larger job boards such as CareerShift (access through Yale Career Link, under the Resources section), idealist.org, Indeed.com, and Monster.com. Of course, keep your eyes on Yale Career Link’s job board but make use of others as well.

⭐ OCS has created a self-guided to-do list to help you find a summer internship! Check out the ‘Your Summer Internship Search’ pathway in Yale Career Link.

We’ve shared more detail on each point below:


Start with Self-Assessment

Identify your needs and goals

Review your summer goals to focus your plans. What are you hoping to do/learn/achieve?

  • Industry knowledge?
  • Project management experience?
  • Computer/programming skills?
  • Foreign language competency?
  • Entrepreneurship?

Articulating any concrete (or new) goals will help as you consider new and different opportunities.

🖊 Use the Skills, Values, Interests inventory, and review the Career Decision-Making Process blog to help with your self-assessment.


Considering Remote Work: Guidelines

Employers may consider converting interns to remote work, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Below are guidelines from OCS that can help make a remote experience as valuable as possible:

  • Consider creating a work plan or learning plan with your supervisor at the start of the internship.
  • Students should have regular check-ins and should correspond directly with the supervisor at least twice a week by phone, email, or other methods.
  • Students working remotely should have clear instructions and deadlines set by their supervisor throughout their internship.
  • Remote interns should have regular feedback and supervision on their assigned projects.
  • Finally, remote interns should keep a log of their projects that can be submitted to their supervisor on a weekly basis to track their progress.

If you have specific questions on how you may convert your opportunity to a remote working situation, consider making an appointment with an OCS advisor through Yale Career Link or emailing us at careerstrategy@yale.edu. All appointments are EST.

Search for remote positions in Yale Career Link! From your homepage, go to Jobs –> Search on the left. From there, select More Filters and click ‘Yes’ under Remote Position.

Resources For Remote Work

Useful Articles with Job Sites, Tips, and Resources to Find Remote Work:


If Plans Change

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, OCS strongly emphasizes the importance of having more than one plan especially if you are considering going internationally. Check out our slide deck with helpful information about what to do when plans change.

  • Strongly consider networking! Many people are telecommuting and may find themselves with more availability to talk to you about the company’s status.
  • Gain alumni insight to learn what the company is considering for short-term hires.

➡ Networking Email Samples: Reaching out to Alumni to Check on Internship Status


Looking to find Yale Alumni?

  • Use the Yale Alumni LinkedIn page which allows you to search all Yale Alums who have a LinkedIn Account. Search ‘Yale University’ in the LinkedIn search bar to find Yale’s LinkedIn page. On the left, you will see an option for Alumni.
  • Search the OCS Peer Networking Lists found in Yale Career Link and filter by Employer Name.
  • Log into Cross Campus, a database of alumni who are interested in networking with fellow alums and current students.
  • Access the Contact Section of CareerShift, which allows you to search by Company Name and by University Attended.

Can I find a professional opportunity in my hometown?

Yes! It may take some time and creativity depending on your town or city, but OCS advisors are available to help and here are some tips to start:

  • Be flexible and consider a number of ways to create a professional opportunity: volunteering, part-time jobs, short-term internships, remote micro-internships, remote internships, and shadowing.
  • Make a list of all the businesses/organizations of interest in your hometown. What functions do they have that they may need support with? Do they have any opportunities for a part-time student to create something they need?
  • Expand the list of potential employers in your hometown by using the following resources: D&B Hoovers, Guidestar, and CareerShift (Company Search). Access these resources through ocs.yale.edu/VPN to get full access. Also check out your local Chamber of Commerce Directory for more ideas.
  • Consider hometown connections who may be able to assist you: family, friends, past teachers/coaches, past supervisors, high school alumni, a Yale Alumni Club in your area.
  • If you are looking for part-time work, you may need to call businesses directly or email your resume to them. This may include remote micro-internships, or part-time or freelance work including online tutoring, etc.
  • Use larger job boards such as CareerShift (access through Yale Career Link, under the Resources section), idealist.org, Indeed.com, and Monster.com. Of course, keep your eyes on Yale Career Link’s job board but make use of others as well.

📄 Cold Email Samples: Reaching out to Contacts/Companies in your Hometown. If you are sending cold emails to local businesses/organizations, here are some pointers:

  • Use ‘Dear’ or ‘Hello’ to address the recipient
  • Always introduce yourself with your name and that you are a student at Yale
  • Share that you are living in your hometown this summer
  • Explain some of your interests and make a connection to the work they do
  • Ask if they need any full- or part-time help in your areas of interest
  • Attach a resume
  • Thank them for their time

Check out OCS’ Professional Experiences & Internships page for additional tips and resources. There are sub-sections for undergrads, graduate students, and housing resources. There is also a checklist for before, during, and after any experience you participate in.


What about online learning?

You may be interested in skill development either through an online course or self-directed study. Here are a few options:

  • Yale students can review online course options through Yale Summer Session.
  • You have access to LinkedIn Learning as a Yale student. Access hundreds of skill-based courses.
  • Learn or continue in a language: download and use the DuoLinguo app, take out a language book from your local library, set up a weekly Zoom call with a native speaker.

If you decide to learn a new skill independently, it will be helpful to find a system to keep yourself on track. Create a calendar for yourself, and check out the sample Learning Plan from OCS with a template you can complete on your own.

Don’t forget about podcasts related to careers and career development.

  • OCS’ Take This Job And Love It podcast features career strategy advisors and featured guests tackling a variety of topics relevant to the job/internship search process.
  • How I Got Here, a podcast that focuses on how professionals found their ideal jobs over the course of their careers. In each episode, two MBA students from MIT Sloan (one is a Yale alum!) interview a professional about how they navigated the twists and turns of their career and figured out what to do next. You can listen to all of the episodes here.
  • How I Built This with Guy Raz goes in-depth with people who built some of the world’s best-known companies.

There are many more!

Looking for a summer internship or post-graduate job? OCS has got you covered!

FindingJob

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Career Resources

CONTACT & LOCATION

Phone
(203) 432-0800
Address

55 Whitney Avenue, 3rd Fl.
New Haven, CT 06510

SERVICE HOURS

  Academic Year Summer Hours
M 8:30am - 5pm 8:30am - 4:30pm
T 8:30am - 5pm 8:30am - 4:30pm
W 8:30am - 5pm 8:30am - 4:30pm
TH 8:30am - 5pm 8:30am - 4:30pm
F 8:30am - 5pm 8:30am - 4:30pm

The office is closed weekends, holidays, and recess days.