First-year internships are internships after the first year of studies. This page answers some typical questions of people who consider doing a first-year internship.
Am I qualified to do an internship at all after my first year of studies?
In principle, yes. The special curriculum in the life sciences majors at Jacobs means that after the first year, you already have a general overview of your field, and that you have some lab experience. At many other universities, students acquire this only during their second year. Therefore yes, you are qualified in principle. But your grades should be quite good (at least in the 2.something range), otherwise it would be more useful to focus on your academic performance. It is important, though, to make it clear to the people you are applying to that you already have this experience.
What can an internship after my first year do for me?
It can, for example, give you an idea whether 'something you always wanted to do' (i.e., working in a hospital, or working in a pharmaceutics company) is something that you like. It can also give you an idea of the life in a scientific lab, give you some lab practice, and teach you some methods. Most importantly, it could give you an advantage if for your second-year internship you would like to apply to a really nice place.
Which field should I do my internship in?
This does not matter very much since at the entry level, all lab work is pretty much the same, and you won't be giving up any later possibilities. One important exception: if you are very excited about doing medicine, or law, or journalism, after your graduation from Jacobs, the first-year internship is the time to try that out. So, if you want to do medicine later, go work in a hospital. This will increase your understanding of the field and also help your applications later.
In which city should I do my internship?
You are not guaranteed to find a place that will pay you a salary. So, the easiest way is to think about where you might be able to stay for free during your internship, since then you won't be needing a salary. Your hometown? Friends or relatives?
In which lab should I do my internship?
- If you know now which city you would like to be in, try to search for places there: try the websites of the university and other research institutes that are close by.
- If you have a firm idea of which field you would like to be in, you can use the suggestions on the How-to-find page to identify a lab.
- Other than that, perhaps the best thing is to talk to people and ask them where they have been happy, and apply to the same labs or institutions. This is an advantage because they will already know Jacobs, and you won't have to explain how well qualified you are. One example is the graduate program in Göttingen: http://www.gpmolbio.uni-goettingen.de/content/c_faculty.html .
- Research groups here on campus may be taking first-year interns too; talk to individual professors.
You can always check your choice with faculty.
How should the application process go?
Just like for the second year internships, see How to apply for an internship in the life sciences.
This compilation © Sebastian Springer 2008. Please contact me with suggestions for improvements.