Summer opportunities that include research here at FLC, other universities (REU’s), internships, or programs at government laboratories do not have common deadlines. The most common schedule has students preparing materials early in the fall semester and applying for those opportunities in November or December. Preparing early and then narrowing down your choices in October is a good strategy.
Typically, companies, government, and universities, review the applicant pool in January, make decisions, and notify successful applicants in March. The ideal time to apply is Fall of your junior year.
Most applications require a cover letter and resume as well as letters of recommendation from current/former employers or faculty that can comment on your work ethic, ability to communicate, and technical competence. The letter of recommendation and cover letter should be focused on an individual opportunity rather than producing a generic letter and sending it to multiple opportunities. Organize, search, prepare and apply to multiple organizations to ensure success.
An internship is work experience that is either directly related to your major or your career interest. Internships are great experience in a field of interest that will help you make more educated career choices, make professional contacts in a field that can help you get hired and get ahead in your career, and could potentially lead to full-time employment with the organization.
Summer research is an experience for undergraduate students, giving you a chance to work in a meaningful way with faculty and researchers to conduct ongoing research programs or projects. The benefits of a summer REU include building your academic foundation, getting hands-on experience in the field, explore fields of interest, make valuable connections with faculty and is a great stepping stone to graduate school.