The Daily’s 30-day guide to securing summer plans

Nora Collins, Reporter

With the weather getting colder, the time for summer 2023 planning is heating up. The Daily outlined a 30 day plan so you don’t have to!

Day 1-2: Brainstorm

Outline what type of summer experience you hope to have. Options can include paid internships or work, unpaid internships, research work or classes. You can also work on or off campus. It can be helpful to make a concept map to narrow down your options, especially in terms of how each experience helps you meet your individual goals. Northwestern offers resources to help through this process. Be sure to check out the Northwestern Career Advancement website and Handshake’s Resource Library.

Day 3-4: Identify

Now that you know what type of experience you’re pursuing, it’s time to identify specific opportunities online. NCA recommends Handshake and industry-focused job boards such as Idealist for nonprofits or AdAge for advertising. NCA also points students to comprehensive job search sites like Indeed, LinkedIn, and It’s critical to keep track of the different employers and summer options you find, so stay organized with a categorized Google Sheets or Excel spreadsheet, Google Doc or even a sheet of paper. On this same sheet, you can write down specific deadlines and application requirements.

Day 5-10: Identify… More

NCA cautions that some employers only post opportunities directly to their own sites and not elsewhere, so it’s important to keep the employer list from Day 2 and add to it as you continue your research. Visit each website, and save your searches — this will save you time over the next few weeks. Be sure you meet the criteria for the application, including class year, grade point average and major. Additionally, note items like resumes, cover letters and transcripts that you’ll need to prepare your application.

Day 5: Contact

Create a list of academic or professional references, including their contact information, current title and relationship to you. Reach out to these potential references to ask them if they would be willing and able to attest to your work abilities and character. You can also send along your resume for their reference. 

Day 10-15: Write

Update your Curriculum Vitae and write a general cover letter using guidelines from the NCA. These will be your “template documents,” so edit, re-edit and then edit again. 

Day 15-20: Polish

Make your CVs specific to each role for which you are applying. Polish up these applications, waiting a day or two between each edit round for a specific application. 

Day 20-29: Feedback

Send your polished application materials to an adviser, including a guardian, peer or a member of NCA staff, and implement their feedback. 

Day 30: Apply

Submit your applications well before the deadline if possible, and frequently check your inbox for any updates or an interview request. Congratulations on completing the first step of summer planning!

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @Noracollins02

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