Internships have an educational element. Look for an opportunity that gives you the chance to put your classroom learning into practice. Look for internships that offer substance in the work you will be asked to do. An internship is more than filing, typing and answering phones.
Internships may or may not be paid. Paid internships may be a flat sum or hourly wage. Some majors require that you not be paid during the internship. There are many wonderful non-paid internships and thus you limit your opportunities by only looking at paid internships.
Internships may be for credit or not for credit. Either way, the experience you are gaining will be valuable. For-credit internships will be noted on your academic transcript and also provide more structure and evaluation for you.
Your professor or career advisor does not get the internship for you. They are there to offer advice and contact names. Securing an internship is up to you.
According to a recent survey of 259 service, manufacturing and nonprofit employers, 58.6% of those employer's new hires had some type of internship experience. Additionally, 24% of those employers hired the students who interned with them.
Aside from the increased potential for hire, internships provide you with an opportunity to explore a certain type of work or environment that you think you are interested in. At the same time, you gain invaluable oral communication, interpersonal, and teamwork skills - the top three skills employers value and look for in new hires. Additionally, you are exposed to employers who will get to know you and the type of work you can do. This exposure opens up many networks, which can be the most effective job search tool.Finally, you are able to apply classroom theory to practical situations and demonstrate to the potential employer a strong interest and skill level in a chosen field.
To receive academic credit for your internship, you must register for the internship course as you would any other course in the Catalog. To register for the internship course, you must first contact a faculty member within your department. Some majors require application to the internship. Approach a faculty member in your department at least one semester prior to your desired internship semester to ask if he/she will supervise and sponsor your internship. Visit with the faculty member to be sure you understand the requirements for the internship. Credit varies from department to department. A brief description of credit hours granted and admission requirements to the internship are available in the Catalog. Complete descriptions are available from your faculty sponsor in each individual department.
After you register for the internship course, YOU need to secure your internship location. If you have an internship location in mind, get a description of the duties you will be performing. Show that to your faculty supervisor for approval. If you do not have a location in mind, visit the Career Development Office. We can be of assistance in a number of ways.
You are responsible for the creation and implementation of the internship.
Both your faculty advisor and your employer sponsor evaluate you. Check with your faculty advisor for more details.
It is never too early to start thinking about an internship.
Start to identify and explore possible areas of interest with the assistance of the Career Development Office.
Begin talking with people about your interest in an internship. This is commonly called networking and is the most effective way of finding any type of employment opportunity. Also begin working on your resume and cover letter.
NOTE: Many employers look for interns at least one semester preceding the semester they'd like you on board. If you wait until January, for example, to find an internship for spring, you will likely run into difficulties. Many employers will already have their interns in place.
Clarify Your Objectives
Nothing indicates preparedness to an employer like a person who is able to succinctly state his/her goals and objectives. Think about what you want to get out of the internship experience. Specifically ask yourself:
An "organization" may be a business, non-profit group, government agency, citizens' coalition, public service organization, educational institution, or any other community working toward a common goal. To identify organizations, you will need to do some research. You may want to limit your research by focusing on a specific location or type of organization. Read directories, yellow pages, and contact the Chamber of Commerce in the area for sources. We have a number of such resources available for your use in the library or the Career Development Office.
In order to get the most out of your internship experience; be sure to consider the following: