Internships: The why, where, when, and how

An internship is generally a semester-long, supervised work experience related to a student's major or career goal for which the student may earn academic credit. They can be completed sooner, but typically students fill their internship requirement junior and senior year.

What sets an internship apart from a part-time job or volunteer experience is that the internship incorporates specific learning objectives; reflection, usually in the form of journaling; and emphasis on professional development.

  • Geographic location of internship (Where is it located?)
  • Pay (Is it a paid or unpaid internship?)
  • Academic credit (Will it be for academic credit or not?)
  • Time commitment (How much time will be involved, academically and/or at the workplace?)
  • Semester (Fall, spring, or summer)
  • Industry (In what company, field, or area to do an internship)
  • Purpose (What do you want to gain from the internship—a specific skill set, certain project, or experience in a certain field?)
  • Gain valuable work experience prior to graduating
  • Enhance your academic curriculum
  • Narrow your career choices by trying out different options
  • Develop transferrable skills
  • Expand your individual contact network
  • Future references or letters of recommendation
  • Develop a strong resume and have it critiqued by Career Services
  • Conduct a mock interview, read up on current interview practices, review potential interview questions
  • Begin searching for companies and industries of interest
  • Meet with Career Services about available opportunities.
  • Specialized internship web sites
  • Print resources such as "Top Internships" and "The Internship Bible" 
  • Individual company websites
  • Make use of personal network, no matter how small it may seem.
  • It is almost impossible to know where or how an opportunity will arise. Always keep your eyes open.
  • Meet with the Career Services director and search through an internship database with information on employers who previously listed internships.


Handshake is a resource which connects you to all things relating to the job or internship search.

After registering for Handshake, as a user you will be able to:

  • Schedule career advising appointments
  • View upcoming career events and workshops
  • Search and apply for on-campus Work Study and Work Campus positions
  • Search and apply for jobs and internships
  • Develop your profile and upload your resume for employers to view
  • Research companies and hiring organizations
  • Read company reviews