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Internships provide career-related work experience while you attend school.  An internship is an excellent way to develop yourself professionally, explore your career, establish helpful contacts and network for your future career path.  It may lead to employment after graduation.  Internships are available in all fields and the Career Development staff can help you identify opportunities and support you through the internship process. Contact Career Development for assistance.

Internship Key Points

Length of Internships

The duration of an internship is entirely up to the student, academic program and employer.  It is important to set clear parameters with the employer and academic department.

Eligibility

Each internship has its own eligibility requirements, make sure to identify the conditions before applying. Credited internships may also have requirements from your academic department.

Internship Considerations

Make sure to have a clear understanding of your internship goals as you search.  For example, do you want an internship for credit or non-credit?  Will it be paid or unpaid?  What is the work schedule?  When are the start and end dates?  What type of environment do you want to work in?  Constantly assess your goals.

Reasons to Intern

  • Clarification of career goals
  • Increased job search skills
  • Professional experience to enhance both your knowledge and resume
  • Increased networking opportunities
  • Employers prefer candidates with internship experience

Internship Tips

Internship Dos

  • Be ethical with computer/cell phone use
  • Respect everyone! It is important to treat everyone equally as they all contribute to the common good of the work place. In addition, everyone may have an equal say in your hiring evaluation
  • Be on time; if you are running late, tell someone and make sure it doesn’t happen consecutively
  • Avoid profanity; listen to your own language and those around you

Internship  Dont's

  • Don’t sit back and kick your feet up if you have completed your tasks. An ethical worker will think of ways to stay busy and continue to accomplish tasks for the organization.  Keep in mind that you are also cheating yourself by not being proactive in getting the most out of the internship experience
  • Don’t gossip.  Word gets around quickly, you are not there to gossip or start rumors. Steer clear of any conflicts in the office and respect confidentiality
  • Don’t over-discuss politics and your opinions in your internship site. There are strong opinions on both sides of the spectrum, which could hinder advancement or the possibility of hiring

Important Behaviors

  • Restrict yourself to work; do not check your personal email or social networking sites
  • Unless it is an emergency that your supervisor is aware of, always have your phone off or on silent
  • Depending on the environment, dress code may range from suits to casual; always stay professional

Getting the Most Out of an Internship

Create an internship agreement with your supervisor before starting the internship:

  • Set goals and expectations for yourself and your supervisor
  • Always make a copy to keep as a reference
  • If the internship is for credit, your academic department may have their own agreement/forms

Show initiative:

  • If bored ask for work, do not sit around waiting to be told what to do
  • Engage in the process by offering your own ideas and suggestions

Ask questions:

  • Make an effort to conduct informal and formal informational interviews with staff members
  • You may learn about others’ career paths and generate ideas for your future career choices

Ask for a site-supervisor evaluation:

  • Assessment from a supervisor can help you learn your strengths and areas for improvement

Network:

  • Leave a good impression, and you may be considered for a job in the future
  • Develop colleagues and supervisors as resources to build your network

Internship Resources

Roosevelt Resources

External Resources

Websites for Occupational and Industry Research