The National Association of Colleges and Employers defines internships as a form of experiential learning that integrates knowledge and theory learned in the classroom with practical application and skill development in a professional setting. Internships give students the opportunity to gain valuable applied experience and make connections in professional fields they are considering for career paths; and give employers the opportunity to guide and evaluate talent.
Benefits of an internship
- Explore career opportunities or industry fields
- Relate what you have learned in the classroom to the working world
- Take advantage of the option to complete an internship for course credit
- Learn and improve your skills
- Develop your professionalism and career-related values
- Increase your marketability for post-graduation employment
How to find an internship
- Establish your specific goals
- Meet with a career counselor and/or academic department internship coordinator to discuss internship plans
- Identify internship opportunities using online resources, career fairs, and network contacts
- Prepare your cover letter, resume, and references
- Tailor application documents to specific positions and apply for openings
- Practice interview skills
- Follow-up with employers and send thank you notes
Establish specific goals
Determine potential career fields that are compatible with your interests, skills, and values.
- Learn more about internships in your major
- Schedule an appointment with a career counselor to discuss internships
Questions to ask yourself:
- What kind of work environment and industry would I like to work in?
- What type of company/organization would I like to gain experience in?
- Is there opportunity for future employment with the company?
- What type of skills do I wish to develop? What would I like to gain from the experience?
- What type of work would I like to perform?
- How much time do I have to dedicate to an internship: a semester, a summer, a year?
- Am I looking for a full-time or part-time internship position?
- Can I complete the internship for academic credit, does it meet departmental requirements?
- Am I able to move to a different location or does the internship need to be in a certain location? If I am willing to move, how far?
- Will I need to travel for the internship?
- Are travel costs covered by the organization?
- Do I need any specific qualifications for the type of internship?