Sociology M.S. in Social Research

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REMINDER: Internship Season Starting

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    Jessie Daniels
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    Internship Season

    This is the time of year when students in the program who are finishing their first year (or, who have successfully completed Stats I + II, Methods I + II) should begin securing an internship. Usually, this happens over the summer between Year 1 and Year 2 in the program. That said, many people are on different schedules and don’t follow that, but I’m posting this now as a reminder that this is the “internship season.” It’s also a time when employers, and other potential research supervisors, are often looking to take on additional staff.

    Your internship can be paid or unpaid. It can be in person or remote. The main purpose of the internship is to get some hands-on experience doing research. In the past, there were length-of-time requirements (days/weeks/months) for the internship, now we are moving to a more project-based requirement. In other words, you don’t have to “work” a certain number of hours at an internship. Rather, you should work with your supervisor at the internship to complete a research project, with their guidance.

    Following that experience, you will write up that research into a formal paper. This typically happens in the GSR 718 course. In that course, you will also create your digital portfolio where you will include information about your internship, such as the research paper.

    How to Find an Internship

    It can feel daunting to find an internship, but it is possible. Here are some guidelines:

    • Consider your goals and interests
    • Identify potential companies, non-profit organizations, or government agencies that have some connection to your goals and interests. You can scroll back through this forum for some possibilities.
    • Compile a list of all the potential sites, and use a spreadsheet to keep track of names, emails, websites, phone numbers and how many times you contact them, and what the outcome is.
    • Reach out to people at those sites. Your “cold call” pitch should be something like this:
      • “Hello ~ My name is___ and I’m a student in the Master’s degree program in Applied Social Research at Hunter College. I’m writing today to see if I might be able to help with any of your data analysis (or, marketing, or whatever the agency does) needs. I have skills in quantitative research (list those here) and qualitative research (list some more here). In order to finish my degree, I need to complete an internship, and I thought maybe my skills would be useful to your agency/company/organization. Is there a time we could speak by phone? Thank you very kindly, [your name / phone number].
      • Of course, if you’ve found an internship listed on a website of one of the organizations, then you should respond to that directly.
    • Keep reaching out until you find an internship.

    That’s really all there is to the process. I can help identify sites, and where I know people I can put you in touch, but it’s really up to you to find the internship and design the research project, with my guidance. You should also know that people sometimes do internships at the place where they are currently working. That takes a little extra work to set up, but it is possible.

    I’m encouraged that as more people get vaccinated and the cases of COVID begin to fall, there will be more and more offices that are re-opening and looking to hire more staff.

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