Blog of the Peer Advising Leadership Program, College of Natural Resources, UC Berkeley

February 9, 2009 8:34 PM

Thinking about the Summer

Even though it’s the beginning of the semester (okay, 4th week in, but it’s still the beginning), summer is looming ahead. Usually, summer is a time of relaxation and fun, and at times, it can be quite stressful to even think about summer. What am I going to do with my summer?!?

Especially in college, summer is the perfect time for opportunities – to take classes you couldn’t take during the school year or to gain experience in a different field or even to travel and explore! Below is a listing of places to look for research or internships for the summer; right after is a brief summary of what I did during my summers since freshman year

So here’s a small list of websites to check out if you haven’t already. Most of them are research oriented, so I hope it helps if you are interested in research. If you haven’t already, subscribe to the mailing lists from the Career Center – you never know what you may run into. Look through Cal Jobs (I never really did it, but I know several people who have found great opportunities for the summer via Cal Jobs) and attend some career fairs, especially the Internships fair. You can give them your resume, and some places might even send you e-mails requesting more information (but you really get more information about where to apply online and get to ask questions). And actually skim through the e-mails our major advisors send us!

My small list:
Cal Undergraduate Research website – generally a good listing of stuff at Berkeley and for Berkeley students
Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) – a LARGE listing. I spent a good portion of my winter semester weeding through all the experiences, but it’s amazing what kinds of stuff are out there. So many universities offer great experiences, so look through them and see what interests you. Bookmark them. Oh, and I think there might be a Facebook Group for this.
Research Training Program – I loved this program. You get to work in a museum, so if it interests you, consider it! Just not for this summer. There is also a Facebook Group too.
Biology Fellows Program
David Scholars Program
Haas Scholars Program
Bodega Marine Laboratory
QB3-Berkeley Undergraduate Internship
Amgen Scholars Program – at many universities, not just at Berkeley
The Leadership Alliance – you can apply to many programs, some specifically geared towards MD/PhD intended students, at one go. You just have to choose your top 3 though. If you don’t apply via this program, you can also apply through the university I believe, but this will require more research.

Summer of 2006 – actually just went home and didn’t do much. Unfortunately, I didn’t learn how to drive when I was in high school, so that summer was dedicated to driving and getting my driver’s license.

Summer of 2007 – I took Physics 8A, mainly because I was (and still am) thinking about pursuing medical school even though I don’t have any clinical experience (then and now). But I also started gaining research experience in the Specht Lab, which was an eye-opener and really fulfilled my summer.

Summer of 2008 – RTP! Need I say more? Here’s a small post I made about it before. Basically, I applied for the Research Training Program at the Smithsonian Institute’s National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. It was an amazing experience. How many people can say that they’ve been in the closed off areas of the museum for 10 weeks?!? And I learned so much, met so many leading researchers in the field of botany. Unfortunately, the program isn’t offered this year (2009) because they are conducting a review of the program (almost 30 years now!). But to those who are interested, check out the website and apply next year before February 1. It was one of the best summers I’ve ever had. And I got to go to a professional meeting and meet more people…good stuff. Oh, and there are opportunities in all types of fields – entomology, vertebrate and invertebrate zoology, geology, anthropology, paleontology.

Summer of 2009 – coming up! I’m staying in Berkeley to work on my honor’s research project and perhaps take MCB 102, but we’ll see. Everything is dependent on everything right now! I applied to the Amgen Scholars Program (deadline was February 2), and am planning to applying to the Haas Scholars Program (deadline February 17) and Biology Fellows Program (deadline March 2). Finding opportunities at Cal during the summer of your senior year is quite tough. Since I was very limited in what I wanted to do this summer, the opportunities aren’t quite so endless as they were last summer.

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