Many students are interested in internships but unclear about what they are exactly. The goal of this page is to arm you with accurate knowledge so you can make an informed decision about if and when you should do an internship.
Understand what an internship is:
An Internship is a work-place based opportunity where students can do one or more of the following things:
• Integrate their academic learning with hands-on experience
• Develop of refine skills
• Explore different sectors, industries, work settings, and job roles
Internships have an intentional focus on your learning as a students, are project-based, and are time-limited usually lasting only a quarter or two in total.
Reflect on what you want out of an internship:
• Learn a new skill or practice a skill you recently learned
• Apply your classroom learning in a real-world setting
• Experience a new sector, industry, or work setting
• Explore an interesting career path
• Get your foot in the door at a specific organization
Consider timing:• Internships can happen anytime of year. During the academic year you can expect to work 10-15 hours a week at your internship site. In the summer, internships can be up to full time (40 hours per week) though part-time opportunities are also available.
• Many students complete their first internship as a sophomore or junior. When would make the most sense for you?
Think about compensation & credit:• About 90% of internships postings in Handshake, our job and internship board, are paid opportunities. How important is getting a paid internship for you and how will that affect your search?
• If you are pursuing an unpaid internship, check out our resource on Finding Funding for Unpaid Internships.
• Do you want to pay for and earn academic credit for demonstrating the learning that takes place in your internship? Earning credit is optional (for domestic students) and won’t affect your ability to receive pay from your employer. If you choose to enroll you can explore your department’s course options or register for GEN ST 350.
- Meet with a career coach to develop an internship strategy.
- Start perusing internships to see what’s out there using resources such as Handshake and attending events like Job & Internship Fairs.