MESA provides guide to help students apply for internships

By Eduardo Sanchez

The Math Engineering Science Achievement program hosted a livestream on Monday to present a guide students can use when applying for internships.
Along with an explanation of what is needed when applying for internships, tips were given to make sure students can be more prepared to submit their application.
The meeting was hosted by MESA member, Elizabeth Reyna. The layout was created for Science Technology Engineering and Math related internships, but he information can be used to prepare for other types of internships.
Tips were shared to make sure you qualify for the internship before setting out to do the work it comes with.
If rejected, it is best to continue searching until you find an internship that you do qualify for.
It is important to check deadlines so you can start early and can plan to pace yourself.
It is helpful to already have the materials required organized, so you can update them for future use.
One of the first documents often asked for when applying is a resume or curriculum vitae. Usually, only one of either is needed for submission.
A resume consists of a person’s relevant experience whether it be paid or unpaid.
Awards and other previous research internships can be included as well.
Meanwhile, a CV is more academically related and consists of previous presentations and publications. They must be formatted in chronological order. Education and awards can also be included.
Both a cover letter and a statement of intent are “essentially a piece of writing where you’re saying why you want the position, why you’re qualified for it, what you bring to the table,” Reyna said.
Cover letters are used to introduce yourself and can include how you heard about the internship as well as your own personal information.
Meanwhile, a statement of intent is not as freeing. Here you are being asked specific questions by the company.
Often they ask you to write about what subjects you are interested in researching and possibly what your research question is.
The next item on the checklist was the essay prompt. Frequently used prompts ask students to write about their education barriers, background history, career goals, and to discuss research or ask for a student’s interest in specific projects.
A few tips given for writing essays were to reread the prompt in order to make sure everything asked is answered.
“It’s important that the first presentation you have on paper–They don’t know you but will get to know you on paper first before anything else, that you give them a document you’ve edited and proofread,” Reyna said.
Even optional questions should be answered, as it shows you are putting in the effort. This is often viewed when choosing candidates.
Making sure the paper is in the correct format, often PDF is just as important.
References and letters of recommendation were the next topic.
”You want somebody that can really vouch for you, that can talk about your abilities with academics in that particular major or field,” Reyna said. Academic advisors and tutors or supervisors are also recommended.
The importance of asking for references early was important.
Six weeks or a month is a good time frame to give your reference a good amount of time to write your recommendation.
At the very least, two to three weeks should be provided.
It is also important to provide them with documents such as a copy of your letter of intent to further assist them write.
A tip given was to have a back up in mind in case the first is unable to complete the letter. After they write it, it is important to thank them and keep them updated with the progress of your internship.
MESA stem coaches and East Los Angeles College career and student services can look over your application and give feedback.
It is very important to have someone give you feedback before submitting an application. Getting feedback from a fellow studentis better than none at all.
Internships can be found in various ELAC related services from the MESA newsletter to the ELAC career and job services center.
Professional networking can be a good place as well, from other classmates and even professors. Internet searches are also a great source.
Networking is important as you can find someone already in the program and ask them for their experience.
It is important that once you have submitted, you check your emails for any possible follow up requirements.
You can also use this time to prepare for interviews and to give thanks for your letter of recommendation if one was given.
MESA is a program on campus that helps educationally and financially disadvantaged students to transfer to four year universities.
This presentation was just one of the various helpful resources they provide.
You can reach Elizabeth Reyna at

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