- What is an internship? An internship:
- Is on-site work experience that is either directly related to your major field of study or your career interest
- Is an extension of what you have learned in the classroom
- Offers the opportunity to apply what you have learned in the classroom
- Provides you with the real-world experience you will need to successfully attain a full-time job in your field
- Alerts you to the skills employers demand of prospective employees
- Is a meaningful, well-supervised part-time learning experience
- Allows you to test out possibilities by exploring your interests and using your skills in a professional environment
- May be paid or unpaid, may or may not offer academic credit
- May include opportunities in the corporate, government and non-profit sectors
- Offers employers fresh ideas to creatively respond to real business problems
- Gives you invaluable opportunities for networking
- How can I obtain academic credit? Some employers work with an academic department to make their internship a meaningful experience for the student. To get academic credit, the internship must have prior approval from your academic department. In addition, many departments have formal internship requirements.
- When should I start looking for an internship? Start early. Finding an internship is a process, not just a search. In general, it is best to start looking for an internship the semester prior to your desired start date.
Certain industries, such as financial services and consulting, conduct their recruiting well in advance of the start date. Many of these organizations have resume collection deadlines by the end of the Fall Semester and conduct their interviews at the beginning of the Spring Semester for Summer or the following Fall internships.
Other industries post internships and collect resumes during the semester before the start date (e.g., during the Spring Semester for a Summer internship.)
Other companies post their internships as the need arises, anytime during the year.
- Are there any internships for freshmen and sophomores? Yes, although most employers typically look for third-year students who have completed more of their coursework, there are some internships available to first- and second-year students. For more information, drop in during walk-in hours to talk with one of our career counselors.
- I've developed a list of companies for which I want to intern. Now what do I do? Now is the time to develop good job search tools:
- Search the company Websites to see if their internships are listed online.
- Call the companies and ask what internship opportunities are available.
- Research the companies. Try to find to whom you can send an inquiry.
- Network. Ask everyone you know to help you find contacts at the companies.
- Write a customized cover letter to each contact and enclose your resume.
- Meet with a counselor during walk-in hours or set up a formal appointment for additional guidance.