Student To Career Internships
Explore is the first step in the internship process. If you are seeking an internship, this is where you want to start! Here you can find information on the purpose, value, and specific benefits of an internship. Explore how to locate an internship, prepare for an interview, and receive academic credit for your internship.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What is an internship?
An internship is an on-site work experience that is either directly related to your major field of study or your career interest. It can be paid or unpaid, and held during the summer or throughout the academic year.
- What are the benefits of an internship?
An internship gives you the opportunity to:
- Gain valuable work experience before you graduate
- Develop new skills and refine others
- Apply knowledge gained from coursework to on-the-job situations
- Reality-test tentative career choices
- Meet and work with professionals, establishing contacts for letters of reference and networking
- Experience new work environments
- Earn money for tuition and expenses
- How do I find an internship?
The most effective internship searches utilize a variety of different search strategies. A great place to start is Handshake – many Internship listings are available online via Handshake.
Also, take advantage of all your networking opportunities. You can make connections through friends, family, current/former employers, classmates, and faculty members. There are many networking avenues you can pursue, including events through the university.
You must be persistent in your internship search. Start early and seek out help! Have a plan that includes a great resume and cover letter, appropriate follow-up. Be prepared, open-minded, flexible, and professional. It’s up to you to make all your connections count!
- How do I get academic credit for an internship?
It may be possible to get academic credit for your internship, but only through your specific department! For contact info, visit the contact page of our Internship Guide here.
Only academic departments can offer credit, and policies differ greatly from one department to the next. Often your internship must relate directly to your major and will require you to complete a writing component on behalf of your experience.
- Who do I contact to receive credit for an internship?
Further questions about academic credit for internships can be directed to the department chair or direct department contact based on your major. You can find this contact information here!
- When is the optimal time to seek an internship in my academic career?
For the year of academic study, the first semester of your sophomore year may be the most optimal time. Allow yourself time to adjust to the changes of life at college and really pour into professional growth during this time. Then, depending on your major, GPA, and course load requirements, you may be ready to intern.
- When is the optimal time to seek an internship in the calendar year?
For the calendar year, Handshake receives internship listings continually. It’s probably best to begin your internship search the semester prior to your desired placement. That way, you’ll have time to respond to listed positions and initiate contacts on your own as well. Lead time can give you a competitive edge when it comes to composing an effective cover letter or tailoring your resume to a desired internship.
- There are many ways you can prepare for an interview! Here are some interview preparation
- Research the industry and company you are interviewing for.
- Practice common interview questions.
- Know your “elevator pitch.”
- Dress to impress in business professional attire.
- Choose positivity and confidence.
- Bring a copy of your resume.
- Plan to send a “Thank You” note afterwards.
You can use resources such as Interviewstream to practice interview questions.
You can schedule an appointment with an S2C staff member here!
- What if I don’t have professional attire for the interview?
If you are in need of professional attire, Student to Career offers free access to Scarlett & Murphy's Business Professional Closet in JH 425! Professional attire can be borrowed for short periods of time, or in the case of an internship, this clothing can be borrowed for extended periods of time as well. For further information on this awesome resource, schedule an appointment with our S2C staff here.
- How do I write an elevator pitch?
An effective elevator pitch is very important, because this is often part of the first impression employers receive from you. Check out the attached PDF for some effective elevator pitch tips!
- Are internships paid or unpaid, and is there a difference between the two?
Internships can be paid or unpaid.
Paid internships are not a requirement. Luckily, most internships today do offer compensation for interns. Your compensation is usually determined prior to the start date of an internship or discussed in the interview.
Unpaid internships are an opportunity to have valid job experience, make professional contacts, increase your chances of finding a job after college, gain more skills, and possibly get college credit and great to add to a resume.
If the internship is well developed by the employer, there should be no difference in the quality or value of the internship based on payment versus no payment.
Please contact the department of your major for further information here!