Where do I identify/look for internships?
- Academic Departments - start with your academic department internship coordinator.
- Career Development Center
- Previous/present employers
- University alumni
When is the best time to do an internship?
The ideal time to do an internship is during the second semester of your sophomore year or during your junior year. This provides you the option of doing another internship when you are a senior. Be sure to refer to your academic major's curriculum for the appropriate time to do an internship for academic credit. If seeking credit, the internship experience must be approved, by your academic department, prior to interning.
Some graduates opt to gain a post-baccalaureate internship, which is an internship conducted after graduation for additional professional experience, that cannot be used for credit.
Do I need a career goal in mind before I pursue an internship?
Internships are a valuable, hands-on way to test those areas that you are considering as a future career, but before searching for an internship, you may want to spend some time connecting with professionals to learn about their available internship opportunities and career paths. Conducting informational interviews is an excellent strategy to gain a greater understanding and expand your network. It involves asking questions like, "What's a typical week like for you? How did you get started in your field? What's most challenging for you? What does your organization look for when hiring college graduates?" Click here for a 'how-to' guide for conducting informational interviews. Also, some students make arrangements to job shadow a professional. Click here for a 'how-to' guide for reaching out to professionals and making these arrangements.
Once you have a greater understanding of career paths and employers, you will be more confident in the internship you would like to pursue.
Can I do more than one internship?
Absolutely; completing multiple internships allows you to explore and understand your field and future career goals. Additionally, you will be more marketable to future employers because you will have more experience to offer them. Be aware that most academic programs have certain requirements for taking a for-credit internship, so be sure to check with your academic department.
Are there any costs incurred?
Yes, students are charged per enrolled credit. Only two fees are assessed with internship credits- Tuition Technology Fee and Instructional Service Fee. All other on-campus fees are not assessed.
What is in it for the employer?
- Internships are used as a recruiting strategy.
- Employers hone in on academic major and internship experience above all other characteristics on a resume.
- NACE's Internship & Co-op Survey showed employers extended offers to over 60% of their interns
What should I have prepared?
- Resume and cover letter
- A professional reference list (Former and present employers, members of faculty, staff and administration, or advisors and coaches. No family members or friends).
- Interviewing skills - practice and think ahead
The Career Development Center provides numerous services and resources to assist you with drafting your resume and cover letter, as well as preparing for upcoming interviews. They also offer a review service to provide feedback on your documents and recorded practice interviews.