What are the benefits of an internship?
Internships are an excellent way to closely explore a career path that interests you. In addition to hands-on experience, you gain unique contacts in your field, which may serve you well once you begin your job search. Internships come in various formats, including paid and unpaid, for credit and not for credit. Some majors require an internship/practicum, while others simply encourage them. Completeing several internships is a great way to build your resume and get experience in your area of interest.
What is my first step in looking for an internship?
If you want to do an internship for academic credit, start with your advisor or department internship director. (This is especially important if your internship is a required course for your major!) Requirements differ by department for internships, so it's important to have that conversation first. Then contact Talent and Career Development at firstname.lastname@example.org to make an appointment for assistance in search strategies, resume and cover letter assistance, interview practice, and answers to your questions about the process of applying. You can also stop by Walton 202 or ELC 201.
When should I begin looking for an internship?
Internships can take place during the fall or spring semester or over the summer. Some fields are more competitive than others, so it's important to allow time to search and apply. Deadlines for summer internships can occur in late fall; read applications carefully. Students often choose to do internships during their junior and/or senior years, although internships can take place during sophomore year or following graduation.
What is the difference between an internship for credit and one that's not?
In order to receive credit for an internship, students must abide by the rules of their departments. In most cases, internships must be approved by the department, and reports must be filed and/or a paper must be written during the cooperative experience. Some have a required amount of hours that must be fulfilled. The amount of credit rewarded will be determined by the department. Some majors require internships and those are always completed for credit.
Internships not completed for credit are agreements made between an organization and a student. They are not supervised by the university, and may be more flexible in terms of hours and arrangement.
Are internships not completed for credit less valuable than internships for credit?
Internships for credit are included on college transcripts, but both are equally valid on resumes. Employers are more interested in candidates who have relevant experience, so choose internships that align well with your career path.
Can I just use my old resume from last year when I apply for an internship?
Rule #1 for resumes is never recycle an old resume for a new position. It's worth keeping old resumes for reference-names of old supervisors, time frames for past jobs, etc., but your resume needs to reflect who you are right now, and needs to be focused entirely on the position you're applying for. Not sure where to start? Follow our resume how-to guide. Need hands-on resume help? Call Talent and Career Development at 610-341-5827 to make an appointment, or email us at email@example.com.
What if need help with a cover letter?
Talent and Career Development is happy to assist with cover letters as well. Be sure to use our cover letter how-to guide in writing your draft, and then call Talent and Career Development at 610-341-5827 to make an appointment, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please bring the internship description with you, if possible.
Should I apply only for advertised internships?
Not all internships are advertised, so if there is an organization for which you'd like to work, contact it directly with your resume and cover letter. Remember to be professional and polite; even if the organization can't take you on as in intern, you may be able to create a new contact.
Are unpaid internships and /or volunteer experiences worth including on resumes?
Absolutely! Any sort of practical experience is worth including, as long as it is relevant to the position you're applying for.