An internship is a hands-on work experience that is directly related to your career interests. It can be paid or unpaid, full or part-time, and can take place during the the summer or academic year. The benefit to you is a practical, real-world experience that provides an understanding of different industries, career fields and employers. You can apply your academic talents in the 'working world" and develop new skills. An internship also provides valuable networking opportunities.
The benefits of an internship
- Explore career opportunities or industry fields
- Relate what you've 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 advisor 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 two or three potential career fields that are compatible with your interests, skills and values. Career advising can help you get focused.
- Do some self assessment and answer these questions.
- Learn more about internships in your major
- Schedule an appointment with a career advisor
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; 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?