While several students who have not yet finalized their summer plans said that they feel pressure searching for opportunities past the recruiting season in January and February, representatives from the Office of Career Services point out that many opportunities still remain.
Both Robin E. Mount, Director of Office of Career Services and International Programs, and Anthony J. Arcieri, Director of Undergraduate Career Advising and Programming, acknowledged this pressure. They said that although it sometimes seems like many students finalize their plans as early as January and February, it is common for students to find opportunities later in the year.
“Sometimes people think that ‘Oh, everything is over!’ after [January and February], but in fact I think that when we look at data, the majority of students, especially freshmen and sophomores, land things around April,” Mount said.
Arcieri said that many organizations have later timelines for their hiring processes if their needs for the summer are uncertain.
“I think at Harvard, we tend to a little bit of an earlier approach and oftentimes I think students want to have things lined up earlier, but sometimes some industries don’t necessarily operate that early,” said Arcieri.
Leah N. Schwartz ’16 said that she is still waiting to hear back from the global health-related programs to which she has applied.
“You feel the pressure as everyone is accepting offers in February…but once that initial rush of offers was accepted and things calm down, I was fine also. I kind of just waited,” Schwartz said.
Aidan R. Chavez ’18, a student from Los Angeles, is in the midst of looking for summer internships near home.
“It’s a little scary and you feel kind of left out and that you’re not doing what you’re supposed to be doing, but overall it’s okay,” Chavez said.
Chavez said that he has sought the help of OCS during his search. He attended OCS’s summer opportunities drop-ins last Friday which, according to Arcieri, drew 64 students in total.
OCS has, in the past few weeks, also hosted events specifically addressing these students’ worries. Mount said that more than 70 students attended OCS’s event entitled “It’s Not Too Late to Plan For Summer” last Thursday.
Mount also added that various consortium databases, such as the iNet Internship Network and UCAN: The University Career Action Network, are helpful tools to search for internships near their hometowns.
Mount added that despite students’ worries, “some of the coolest things show up at the last minute.”
Of the students, she said, “they’re like cats, they land on their feet.”
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