General Overview of the Summer Intern Process

Unlike academic year internships where host organizations are sought out and established by ALP staff, students are responsible for seeking out their own summer internship. Here is a general overview of the process and specific information on qualifications, funding, how to find an internship, how to apply and what happens after an award is made.


Summer grants are open to current students and alumni of the ALP program, and roughly occur during the period May 1 through August 31. Interns are expected to complete at least 120 hours of work over a period of time mutually agreed upon between the intern and the host organization.


A maximum of 1 credit is allowed for a summer internship. This credit must be completed prior to student completing their degree.


  • Read this important information on ALP Summer Funding (PDF), which includes details on methods of payment and tax withholding.
  • We wish we had the budget to fund all ALP summer opportunities, but unfortunately we don’t. Grants will typically not exceed the following amounts:
    • $1,000 for summer local Rochester area and remote work/virtual internships*
    • $2,500 for summer non-local
  • Board (food/meals) are to be covered by the student and are not eligible for funding.
  • The main focus of any internships through ALP cannot include hours for teaching, performing, coaching or attending workshops and seminars as a participant. If the organization offers you opportunities to do these things, you are welcome to do so but they must be outside of and cannot be included into your minimum hour requirements.
  • It is hoped that host organizations can assist with funding or services to support the internship. Remember, the more support we can leverage from host organizations, the more interns we can support. We generally have more applications for funding than we can fulfill. Any funding (hourly wages) or services (such as housing or transportation) provided by the host organization must be disclosed in the student’s application.
  • There are application deadlines for summer internships so that all applications may be given equal opportunity. Students graduating have first priority for funding, followed by returning students, and then alumni. Previous monetary awards through the ALP program will also be taken into consideration.
  • *Rochester area & IF APPROVED any remote work/virtual summer internships are paid a flat award amount based on 120 hours. Expenses for room, travel and other are not considered for funding.

Finding an internship involves research, contacting prospective host organizations, and in some cases applying to those organizations who have larger intern programs. For programs with their own application process, be sure to watch out for their deadlines!

Suggested timeline

December/winter break of the previous year — begin your research for summer opportunities.

January — Begin (or continue) to contact host organizations to discuss opportunities in more detail.

By March 1 or at least one month before the application deadline — focus in on a final selection and begin to obtain the necessary forms from the organizations to submit with your application package.

Late March/Early April — application deadline is usually in late March/early April. Be sure to check Important dates for Spring for the application deadline.


12 Tips for Success in Your Internship Quest

Getting Started Ideas for internships, housing and other resource links

Contacting a Prospective Host

In general, you should be professional and take any kind of communication between you and your prospective host seriously. The first contact is crucial, and the impression they get from you is even more important. Not only will you be a representative of the Arts Leadership Program at Eastman, you will also be reflecting your prospects as an intern for them.

There are several ways you can contact your prospective host.

If you decide to call, be prepared to answer on the spot any questions the host may have for you. You may find yourself immediately in an interview situation, so be ready.

  • Talk to the office assistant or receptionist as you would your prospective host. If the person you want to contact is not available, ask for a better time to call
  • Call from a quiet place where you can devote your full attention to who you are talking to. If you’re using a cell phone, try to go to an area where you know you have good reception and make sure the batteries are charged.
  • If your prospective host requests that you be home at a certain time, or that you call at a certain time, BE PUNCTUAL
  • Some organizations have never hosted an intern, so give them a few ideas of what you could do and what you’re interested in. Give them a rough idea of what they should expect from you and what you should expect from them. Direct them to the ALP site if they want more information
  • Know why you are calling. Don’t wing it! Have at least a rough outline of what you want to say

If you decide to send a letter or e-mail, it may take longer for them to respond (for instance, some employers only check their e-mails on business days during business hours), and there is no guarantee that your note will actually be received. Therefore, it would be prudent for you to follow up any kind of important letter or e-mail with a phone call.

  • Sample e-mail/letter to prospective host (PDF)
  • Attach a résumé to your e-mail or letter, with the contact information (phone numbers and e-mail addresses) of references. Reference letters may be required at a later time, depending on the host.

Some Things to Consider

  • At some point, you will need to bring up the issue of potential host organization support. The ALP can help by providing funding in support of travel and living expenses, but many organizations will also assist with support in various ways. Typical support from them may include housing (this happens a lot with festivals), some travel, meals (ALP does not provide funding for meals) and with some of the more established intern programs, they provide payment in the form of a stipend or hourly wage.  Don’t be shy, but be delicate. Ask if the host organization has any support for interns or other part-time workers like yourself.
  • You will also need to discuss how long your internship will be. In order to receive course credit for your summer internship, you will need to complete at least 120 hours with your organization. For the best experience, it is generally recommended that you schedule this in 10-20 hours per week, but scheduling is flexible.

The Interview Process

Some host organizations may want to find out more about you by means of an interview. You may be asked to be interviewed in person, although most organizations prefer phone interviews. You can suggest Skype, Zoom or a similar service as an alternative. The IML office has a room that you can reserve for this purpose – see information on the IML Video Intervew Space or contact 274-1113 for more information.

  • Be prepared to talk about yourself–professionally, scholastically, and personally. What do you study in school? What made you go into music? What are your character strengths and weaknesses? What kind of work experiences do you have?
  • Prior to the interview, do a little bit of research. Find out at least generally what the host organization is about.
  • Be sure to mention the ALP program at Eastman and how it ties in with your internship.
  • Know why you want to have an internship with that particular host. How will the internship help your education or career?
  • Have a pen/pencil and a piece of paper or electronic device to take down any notes.
  • Have important information ready: the IML Assistant Director’s contact information, the ALP website address, your own contact information, phone numbers and e-mail addressees of references.
  • Have a positive outlook! If the interview goes horrendously, dust yourself off and try again somewhere else.

Working remotely is not preferred.

History has shown us that the best experience is provided when the intern can interact in person with supervisors and staff. If working remotely is part of your proposed internship, this should be detailed in your personal statement as to your specific schedule and hours for remote work versus working on site in person with the organization.

As you get closer to the application deadline, you should focus in on a final selection and/or consider a backup plan if necessary.

Focusing in on a final selection

At least a month before the application deadline, you should begin to focus in on a final selection and start to solicit forms from host organizations that they will be required to complete and submit to you (you’ll in turn submit these as part of your application package). Don’t forget to get back to other organizations with whom you’ve discussed opportunities to let them know you’ve decided to work with another organization. Thank them for their time! If you are unable to narrow your selection by this time or have applied for an internship that is part of a large intern program and could be competitive, you may want to consider a backup plan.

Do you need to think about a backup plan?

If a month before the application deadline you are not yet working with a specific organization, you should be thinking about putting a backup plan in place.  This could be another organization with a more definite summer intern offer for you, a Rochester area summer internship or consider a FULL YEAR academic internship instead of just one semester. See the IML Assistant Director if you need help with considering options.

Host organizations are required to complete a few forms, which should then be sent to you for inclusion in your application package. Don’t wait until the last minute to ask for these! It’s suggested that you request these from them at least one month ahead of the application deadline. The forms which they will need to complete include the following:

  • ALP Host Application for Intern – DOC fill in | PDF
  • ALP Intern Job Description Summer  – DOC fill in | PDF
  • Optional — Summer Intern Contract – DOC fill in | PDF – this contract will need to be completed prior to the commencement of any awarded internship and before you may receive any funding. Sometimes applicants will also have the host fill this out up front so they don’t have to go back to them for an additional form, but it is not required to be submitted as part of the application process.

All required forms must be submitted as part of your application package for the application to be considered complete.

How can I put my best foot forward on my application?

Your applications are reviewed by a committee, and how you present yourself really counts.  Your materials should all be typed, well written and complete.  If information is missing, we can’t always take time to go back to ask you questions.  If a Funding Request Detail is required (not needed for Rochester based and virtual internships), expenses should be detailed and as well documented as possible.  As you put them together, think about presenting to someone who knows nothing about the internship.  Don’t assume.  In addition to information and forms required by the application process, include any additional information about the organization, the internship and/or the community that you think is relevant.  Your goals should clearly sell us on why you are interested in the position, and how it fits into what you wish to accomplish down the road.  And don’t forget to spell check!!

How to Apply

Summer Intern Application Instructions (PDF) – read me first! Apply Now – Go to Online Application

You must be notified in writing by the Arts Leadership Program in order to receive funding support for any summer internship.

Awarded Applicants: Next Steps

If your internship is approved, you will receive an award letter and attachments which will provide details on your award as well as what is expected of you. Your host will also receive information from us regarding their duties as a supervisor.

During the internship

Complete, and have your supervisor complete, the appropriate Internship Evaluation forms.

  • There are evaluation forms that should be completed by both you and your supervisor.
  • For internships lasting 3 months or less, these forms should be completed only once at the END of the internship.
  • For long-term internships, the forms need to be completed periodically.
  • All evaluation forms are to be mailed back to the ALP office when completed.
  • Include any relevant supporting documents.

At the end of the internship

Summary Report — Upon completion of this internship you will be required to submit a brief one or two page report summarizing your work experiences. If you are entering into more than one internship, a separate report is required for each experience.