What Is An Internship?
An internship is when you work at an organization in a position related to your major, and receive college credit in return. Internships may be full or part-time, paid or unpaid, and vary in length from a summer to a semester, or even an academic year. Some academic departments require their students to participate in an internship. If your department does not require an internship, you should still consider one.
Why Should You Do An Internship?
Internships can help you in many ways. They can provide you with:
- Career Exploration Opportunities - The chance to explore whether your interests, skills, personality, and values fit within a particular career field or work environment.
- Skill Development - Enhancement of needed skills, increased self-confidence, and a better understanding of a particular position.
- Related Work Experience - The ability to show employers that you do have experience in a field related to your major.
- A network of contacts - Establishment of relationships with people who work in your field, who can help you as you enter employment.
- References - Supervisors and professionals who can provide you with verbal and written recommendations.
How Do You Learn About Internship Opportunities?
Here are four ways:
- The CDC has internship postings on ORCA and other resources in GC 306.
- Most academic departments also have internship listings.
- Contact employers directly and ask if they would be willing to take on an intern.
- The CDC's Career Information Center has an internship section which features directories that list exciting internships available throughout the country and overseas.
How Do You Get Started?
Identify what kind of internship you would like to have. Consider what skills you would like to use, what career field you are interested in exploring, and what type of work environment you would like to experience. Counselors in the CDC can assist you with this process.
Prepare a cover letter and resume to send to potential internship sites. Be sure to have your cover letter and resume critiqued or reviewed by a CDC counselor.
Sharpen your interviewing skills. Read the CDC handout or other resources on interviewing, or attend one of our workshops. You can also conduct a mock interview with a CDC staff member.
Consult with your department's internship coordinator to complete the appropriate college registration procedures and any forms required by your academic department.
Many organizations consider intern applications throughout the year. If you've missed a deadline, apply now for next year, and ask to be considered if something opens up sooner.