Working in high quality paid internships is worth your time and effort:
- Students who have completed internships have an average higher starting salary than those who did not intern
- Students who have interned have a shorter full-time job search and get more job offers than non-interns
- 72.5% of employers say, "I prefer to hire candidates with relevant work experience"
- 60% of employers indicate they prefer experience to be gained from internships/co-ops
Internships and employment during college rose to the top of the list as the most heavily weighted attributes considered by employers
- Employers made full-time offers to 64.8 percent of their interns
- Internships help you build your resume, professionalism, industry knowledge and your contacts
- Internships let you test drive a career to see if it is right for you
- 63% of college grads have completed at least one internship, and many do multiple internships
Based on data from NACE (National Associaton of Colleges and Employers)
How is an internship different than a job?
Criteria for an experience to be defined as an internship:
- The experience must be an extension of the classroom: a learning experience that provides for applying the knowledge gained in the classroom. It must not be simply to advance the operations of the employer or be the work that a regular employee would routinely perform.
- The skills or knowledge learned must be transferable to other employment settings.
- The experience has a defined beginning and end, and a job description with desired qualifications.
- There are clearly defined learning objectives/goals related to the professional goals of the student’s academic coursework.
- There is supervision by a professional with expertise and educational and/or professional background in the field of the experience.
- There is routine feedback by the experienced supervisor.
- There are resources, equipment, and facilities provided by the host employer that support learning objectives/goals.
- National Association of Colleges and Employers, July 2011
Finding an Internship
Finding the right internship for you requires research. Internships are posted on sites including Handshake, and featured at events including the Job & Internship Fair. If you have a specific organization in mind, go directly to their company website to look for potential internship offerings. Some employers may formally offer and publicize internships directly through your academic department. The Career Center also hosts the Job and Internship Fair each semester, bringing many employers who are ready to talk with prospective interns.
Not all internships are publicized! Some students will find it necessary to create their own internship by directly contacting employers of interest. Internships may also be found by using your network: LinkedIn, personal contacts, faculty, advisors and Career Center staff. Contact the Career Center if you need assistance in preparing a resume and approaching potential internship sites.
It is up to the academic department to determine whether or not to award academic credit for an internship. If you are considering an internship, consult your academic advisor or your department’s internship faculty coordinator to see how it fits with your course of study.