Instructions for Applicants
The following must be received by our March 2014 deadline:
- Online application
- Cover letter
- Three references
- $10 (USD/CAD) administrative fee for non-NASCO members
Mail: attn: Internship Network Coordinator
P.O. Box 180048
Chicago, IL 60618
Payment can be mailed to NASCO or paid online .
Tips on Preparing Your Internship Application
The most important thing to keep in mind when preparing your application for internships is to make it look professional and to include all information relevant to the particular placement.
Although the application form is quite detailed, it is very impersonal. Your résumé and cover letter are your chance to convince the host organization(s) that you are the right person for their internship.
Include a good cover letter that makes an enthusiastic introduction for yourself and highlights your related skills and your employment goals. A good cover letter will make the difference between whether you are considered for a telephone interview and/or a job. Great cover letters convey what you can bring to an organization, connect past experience with future work in the position, and lay out what distinguishes you as a potential intern. Discussion of how this position fits into your overall career goals, your involvement with the cooperative movement (see below), and what you hope to gain from the internship are all helpful in writing an outstanding cover letter. Try to be concise (one page is usually sufficient) and incorporate strong action verbs into your writing. Make sure your final cover letter and résumé are free of spelling and grammar errors!
Evidence of Involvement with a Cooperative
Include your involvement with your co-op as experience on your résumé and in your cover letter. You should include positions that you have held (i.e. House Manager, Maintenance Coordinator, board member etc.) and include a brief description of your responsibilities.
- Treasurer: Paid monthly bills. Monitored house's cash flow. Prepared yearly budget. Collected rent from members. Maintained member accounts.
- Kitchen Manager: Prepared weekly menus for 20-person house. Monitored and maintained food and supply inventory. Prepared shopping and ordering lists. Budgeted for kitchen expenses.
- House Education Officer: Planned social and educational events for house. Served on corporate Education committee to plan co-op wide events, edited monthly newsletter.
- Board Member: Elected as a director for 500 members, $7 million cooperative organization. Made policy decisions concerning personnel, finances, and maintenance. Served on long-range planning committee.
Also include any skills that you utilized in your co-op. Some skills that cooperative employers seek:
- Financial Skills: basic bookkeeping and accounting skills, ability to read a financial statemenst, ability to develop and follow budgets, ability to reconcile bank statements, experience as a house or corporate treasurer.
- Leadership Abilities: elected positions such as president, treasurer, etc.; supervision of others and ability to delegate responsibilities.
- Writing and Layout Skills: copy editing, desktop publishing; graphic design, newsletter or newspaper or member's manual editor.
- Member Education: development of member orientations, officer training manuals and events, board of directors training, prospective member promotion, co-op and community relations.
- Development Experience: an understanding of project financing, real estate feasibility projections, and loan applications.
- Collective Decision Making Experience: experience as a member of a worker collective or other democratically managed organization; participation in house, board, committee, or other meetings; experience using consensus decision making and/or conflict resolution; facilitation skills; teambuilding activities.
- Volunteer Experience: experience as a volunteer for organizations such as crises centers, suicide hotlines, emergency shelters, schools, tutoring programs, childcare centers, hospitals, local food co-ops or buying clubs, etc. show a commitment to your community and a high level of responsibility.
- Time Management: experience working under a deadline, developing and executing projects.
- Computer Experience: computer skills and use, programming skills.
Specific Job Experience and Employment Goals
Be specific about the skills you have and the skill you wish to acquire. If you do not have a lot of experience in an area but would like a job in that area, you must convince the potential employer that you are capable and willing to learn the job. You might want to explain your motivations for gaining experience in this new area and mention skills that you want to gain or further develop. It is also helpful to explain in the cover letter how the internship fits into your immediate and long-term career goals.
There are many resources available to help you prepare a high quality résumé and cover letter. The first place you should check out is your campus career center. Often the center will have books with different samples of résumés and cover letters, and some will have counselors to offer you suggestions for improvements. Another good place to look is online; a search for "resume" or "cover letter" will produce many hits.
Formatting Your Application
There are many websites that have sample templates for cover letters and résumés. Stick with simple, "clean" formats that are easy to read. Keep in mind that your application package will be photocopied and scanned, so black/white schemes are best. Resumes should be kept to one page, single-sided.
NASCO will copy and scan hard copies (mail and fax). If you are submitting hard copies, please print single-sided, use regular white copy paper, and do not staple any part of your application. If you are submitting electronically, PDF files ensure that no formatting is lost.