An internship is no longer an option to be competitive in today’s job market, but a requirement. Internships provide a way for you to get hands-on, supervised experience in the field you are studying. You are able to apply the concepts you are learning in the classroom to a work environment. It may be paid or unpaid, last at least one semester (concurrently with classes or independently) and - depending on the organization and time of year - you may work full or part time. You may also elect to receive academic credit for your internship, or do it for the experience alone. In addition, it’s a great way to find out if a particular career or work environment is a good fit for you. And don’t forget…it’s not all about what you know, but who you know (and who knows you!). An internship will open the door to your professional network and hopefully lead to a permanent position upon graduation!
Typically an internship:
- Takes place outside the classroom and in a place of business.
- Provides an opportunity for learning which is relevant to the academic field of the intern.
- Provides a field supervisor to direct the experience (ideally an expert in the area of the internship).
- Has resources, equipment and facilities provided by the host employer that support learning objectives/goals.
- Has the field supervisors evaluate the student prior to completion of the work experience.