Careers

Summer High School Research Internship Application Tips

Due to the competitive nature of the Summer High School Research Internship program, the following suggestions should be taken into consideration when preparing an application; however, adhering to these recommendations does not guarantee acceptance into the program.

  • Give yourself adequate time to complete the application. 

    Before you begin your application, you should set aside additional time to learn about Fred Hutch. Browse the Hutch’s faculty page at: http://www.fhcrc.org/en/labs.html to learn more about the investigators who work at the Fred Hutch and the types of research conducted.  This will allow you to submit a more well-imformed application.

  • Request informative recommendations.

    Our program requires recommenders to complete and submit our recommendation form. We do not accept free-form recommendation letters. This is good information to give your recommender as soon as you ask him/her. Nevertheless, an informative recommendation should come from someone who can highlight the strengths you have that are relevant to the program, your quality as a student compared to other students, accomplishments achieved, and how this program will further your academic and/or career goals.
    When requesting a recommendation, the applicant should:
    1. Choose your references wisely – recommendations from individuals familiar with your interests, history of commitment, and abilities may be viewed more favorably than a recommendation from a person who doesn't know you as well. Additionally, one recommendation from a science teacher or similar can address your interest in and commitment to science. Your recommendations should come from teachers, school staff, or supervisor at a volunteer or paid position. Recommendations from people who haven't been in a position to evaluate your work and contributions within an academic or professional environment, such as sports coaches or family friends, are discouraged. 
    2. Give your references at least two weeks to submit a recommendation on your behalf. We do NOT accept late application materials or recommendations. If you ask your recommender just a few days before the March 31 deadline and s/he doesn't have time to submit it, you may find yourself in a bind since we will not accept late recommendations.
    3. Ask for your recommendation in writing or email in addition to in person. This helps ensure that it won't fall off their "radar". Give your references a copy of your resume and/or the following information:  a) the name of the program to which you are applying and a brief description of what the program entails (a link to the website can be helpful); b) the name of the sponsoring institution; c) a brief description of how the program fits in with your goals; and d) a brief description of what you will contribute to the program and how you will benefit from participating.  e) The last and possibly most important information to convey is when the recommendation is due and how it should be submitted.  You will provide contact information for your recommenders when you complete the Summer High School Internship Program application. Once you submit your application, our system will automatically send your references an email message with further information, including submission instructions.
    4. Consider sending your recommenders a copy of your short essay responses. This may help them give the strongest recommendation possible.
    5. Send your reference a friendly reminder – preferably one week prior to the application deadline.  Confirm that they submitted the letter.
    6. The last and most important gesture to consider when requesting a recommendation letter is often the most overlooked.  In short; send your reference(s) a handwritten NOTE OF THANKS!
  • Your short essay responses should be a thoughtful and carefully-written.

Start early! The short essay responses provide an opportunity to share your experiences and perspectives that don't show up in a resume or transcript. It's also the primary place where you can elaborate on the other parts of your application (i.e. resume and transcript). The essays should be written with full sentences and should be composed paragraphs. Ask a friend(s), teacher(s), and/or advisor(s) to review your short essay responses for content, clarity, and grammar. The prompts for the short essay responses will be available when the application opens.

The short essay response have character limits (which include spaces), but we do not expect you to  use all the space. Questions for the 2017 application are:                                               

  1. What are your academic and/or career goals at this point? (1000 characters)
  2. Why are you applying to the Fred Hutch’s Summer High School Internship Program (SHIP)? Please address what you hope to gain and how/if SHIP fits into your academic and/or career goals. (1000 characters)
  3. Please tell us about qualities that you have which will allow you to contribute to the Program’s group activities. (850 characters)
  4. Please tell us about a time(s) when you felt isolated from your peers. (850 characters)
  5. Please elaborate on an experience where you overcame a challenge in a leadership role or team setting. You can draw from your experience(s) in previous employment or positions of responsibility, such as leadership roles at your school, in extra-curricular organizations, or at home. (1000 characters)
  6. Tell us something special or unique about yourself. This could be an accomplishment you’re proud of or a hardship you faced which could explain why you didn’t meet your goal in a certain situation. We’re primarily interested in how you handled a situation(s) and how you responded to it, rather than in the activity or challenge itself. You may also use this space to share something in your application that you’d like to explain, or just something about you that you think is important for us to know.  Please do not use this space to circumvent the space limits of the other questions or to repeat your résumé. It will not help your application to do so. (1000 characters)
  • Create a resume and make sure it's up-to-date. 
    1. Check out the tips below. If you want more details about what to include on a resume, you can find examples and even templates by Googling "high school student resume example". Also consider asking a teacher if they, or someone else at the school like a counselor, can help you.
    2. Don't worry if you feel like you don't have enough experience to have a long resume. The quality of your experience (and of the resume itself) is much more important than the length of your resume.
    3. Keep it simple. We recommend that you use simple fonts in black. Resist the temptation to add graphics or use lots of different or non-standard fonts and color. The main thing is that the content - and your experience - should be easy to see and understand.   
    4. Provide details and facts. We strongly recommend that you include the dates, timespan, duration, and/or number of hours for work and volunteer experiences that you list. Provide clear descriptions of what your role was and what tasks you completed. For example, for a position title like Food Bank Volunteer, "volunteered at food bank" isn't as informative as "sorted and stocked shelves for 2 hours/week for 6 weeks". Similarly, for a position title like Summer Camp Assistant, "assisted camp counselors" isn't as informative as "assisted counselors with camper registration, craft activities, and camper check-out for a 2 week summer camp".
    5. Distinguish between volunteer and paid work experiences. Both are valuable. It might be helpful for us to know which is which.
  • Proofread your application thoroughly for accuracy and completeness before submitting.