FAQs

GENERAL

Q: When will Director’s Internships be posted?
A: 2019 Director's Internships will be posted in early December 2019. In the meantime, you can see a list of 2018 Director's Internships here

Q: What is the deadline to apply for an IOP Director’s Internship?
A: The general deadline is Sunday, February 3, 2019 at 11:59pm.

Q: Are Director’s Internships competitive?
A: Director’s Internships are competitive, and organizations are looking for a best-fit. Take time to decide which organization(s) you’re most interested in, and where your skills and experience would be a good fit. It is highly recommended that you do background research into organizations that interest you and demonstrate that research and knowledge of the organization in your application.

Q: How many Director's Internships can I apply for?
A: Students are allowed to apply for up to two Director's Internships. If you apply to two internships, you will need to submit two unique, separate applications through CARAT. Applications are considered separately, and host organizations only review their applications. Applying for a second Director’s Internship (that may be your second choice) will not hurt your chances to obtain your first choice. To increase chances of being accepted into the program, students are encouraged to apply to two host organizations.

Q: How many positions are offered with each organization?
A: In general, there is one internship per host organization.

Q: How much is the Director’s Internship stipend?
A: Starting in summer of 2018, all domestic Director’s Interns receive a $5000 stipend. International Director’s Interns receive a stipend of at least $5000, and financial awards vary by country based on recommendations from Harvard Global Support Services. 

Q: I have a question about the Priscilla Chan Summer Service Award, who can I ask? 
A: Beginning in summer 2017, summer earnings contribution for students on financial aid who apply and are accepted to the IOP Director's Internship Program are covered in full by the Priscilla Chan Summer Service Award in the Phillips Brooks House Center for Public Service & Engaged Scholarship. If you have questions about this award, please visit the Phillips Brooks House website, or email publicservice@fas.harvard.edu

Q: I have a question about a specific Director’s Internship, who can I contact?
A: If you have specific questions your best resource is a past intern. Past interns are listed here, and past intern reflections are included with organization descriptions. If you have questions about an organization that is new to the program this year, you can email IOP_ICS@hks.harvard.edu. You should not reach out to the organization directly.

Q: After I submit my application, when can I expect to hear back?
A: This varies for each organization. In general, final decisions are expected to be made no later than mid-April.

APPLICATION 

Q: What application platform does the Director's Internship use? 
A: Director's Internship applications are submitted through CARAT. Once the application is live, you'll be able to see individual organization descriptions here and then apply through CARAT

Q: What is the deadline to have my letter of recommendation submitted?
A: We're glad you asked! The deadline to have your letter of recommendation submitted is the same as the application deadline (2/3/19 at 11:59pm for summer 2019). You should enter your recommender in CARAT before starting any other application materials. Ask your recommender in advance, and complete the Reference part of CARAT as soon as possible so that your recommender has all the instructions for completing their letter. Do NOT wait until the night before the application is due to send the reference request from CARAT. In CARAT, you can resend a request to your letter of recommender and see if a letter or recommendation has been uploaded on your behalf. 

If you are applying to more than one site, you will use the same letter for multiple applications, and you will need to send a Reference Request for each site/application in order for the letter to be uploaded for each of your applications.

Q: Who is an appropriate person to write my letter of recommendation?
A: Your letter of recommendation can be from anyone you choose, be it a professor, a coach, a tutor, a boss, etc. Depending on your year, it could also be someone from high school. It should be someone who knows you well and can speak in detail to the positive skills and traits you possess. Organizations are more interested in a detailed letter than one written by a CEO, politician, or famous professor who will not be able to speak to your skills and attributes in detail. Pick the person who you feel will write the strongest and most compelling letter on your behalf, whomever that is.

Q: Where do I fill out my application if I’m applying for a Director’s Internship co-sponsored with the Global Health Institute?
A: All applications for Director’s Internships co-sponsored with GHI will go through CARAT. You will need to apply for those internships here .

Q: What is the Statement of Interest requirement?
A: The Statement of Interest is somewhere between a cover letter and a college application essay. It is your opportunity to demonstrate your knowledge of and interest in the organization to which you are applying. It's more professional than your college application essay but more personal than a typical cover letter. Your Statement of Interest format and tone can vary depending on the organizations you're applying to and an organization's public persona - it's up to you! If you are applying to two Director's Internships, your statement of interest should be different for each organization. 

Q: What format should my Statement of Interest be in?

A: It should be one page in length, Times New Roman, size 11 or 12 font, single spaced. It must be submitted in PDF format. 

 

Q: I'm submitting applications to two different internships, but I can only ask for one letter of recommendation. To whom should my recommender address their letter?

A: One way around this issue is to ask your recommender to address the letter to the "Director's Internship Selection Committee."

 

Q: I'd like to have someone look at my resume, where should I go for that?

A:  For resume review, please visit the  Office of Career Services  (OCS) , for their daily drop-ins from 1:00 to 4:00pm at 54 Dunster Street. OCS also has great online resources for resumes, including templates and online workshops. Resumes should be kept to one page. 

Q: How long are Director’s Internships? How do I know when my internship will start?
A: Director’s Internships are generally 10 weeks, though they can be longer. Unless otherwise stated in the internship description, start and end dates are determined once an intern has been selected to ensure that timing works for both intern and host organization. That being said, with very few exceptions (ie: an ROTC commitment) the time spent with an organization should be continuous (ie: not 5 weeks in June, followed by 5 weeks in August, but rather 10 continuous weeks). Interns in Europe are encouraged to conclude their internship by early August, as that is generally a vacation month and many offices will close or work with reduced staff.

ELIGIBILITY 

Q: I am a former Director’s Intern, am I still eligible to apply?
A: Students who have held a Director’s Internship in the past are not eligible to reapply for the program. This includes internships that are co-sponsored with other organizations across campus. However, we are always happy to talk about summer (and/or career) plans with you and think about how to best approach planning. Former Director’s Interns are eligible to apply for the IOP Summer Stipend Program.

Q: Do I need to have been involved with the IOP to be eligible for a Director’s Internship? 
A: No. All returning Harvard College students who have not already been a Director’s Intern are eligible to apply, and involvement in the IOP is not a prerequisite.

Q: I’m a freshman. Am I eligible to apply? 
A: Yes. All students returning to campus in the fall 2019 who have not already been a Director’s Intern are eligible to apply. Generally about 25% of Director’s Interns are freshman each year. 

Q: Am I still eligible if I won’t be on campus the fall term after the internship?
A: As long as you will be enrolled as a full time student at Harvard in the fall you’re eligible. For instance, if you are studying abroad but will still be considered a full-time student, you are eligible. However, if you are taking a semester off, you would not be eligible. Seniors who are graduating in May are not eligible for Director’s Internships.

Q: Can I apply to more than 2 internships if I’m applying to domestic and international internships?
A: No. You can apply for up to two internships that are sponsored by the IOP Director's Internship program, no matter if they are domestic or international, co-sponsored or not. However, if you apply for two internships that are co-sponsored by the IOP and GHI, you would still be eligible to apply for an additional (not co-sponsored) internship with GHI, as students are allowed to apply for up to three internships with that organization.

Further questions should be directed to IOP_ICS@hks.harvard.edu .