What Is An Internship?
An academic internship is employment for class credit. It is an apprenticeship, related to your area of study, with relevant organizations, businesses, institutions and/or specialists in a professional, non academic environment.
Benefits Of An Internship?
You can’t get the job, without experience. To get experience, you have to have a job. Even with a degree, no experience can be a problem. For most competitive careers, like art and design, an internship is essential. In a crowded job market an internship provides:
Experience: Studying is one thing, applying what you have learned to “real world” situations is another. Learn to back up your academic achievements with action.
Contacts: Working with professionals gives you the opportunity to develop a network of contacts that can offer references, advice and information about new job opportunities. Future jobs. Many companies use internship programs to recruit talent. Working with interns gives them the chance to try out motivated, ambitious students before employing them. Even if you don’t get a job offer - internships create valuable experience that employer’s respect. They promote personal growth and build confidence in your future. Improve qualifications for after graduation employment and add strength to your resume.
New Skills: Internships allow you to diversify and build on your academic experience.
Comparison Shop: More than one internship gives you a chance to try on different types of work environments and find the kind of job that fits you best.
HOW INTERNSHIPS WORK?
You are basically working for class credit, not pay. Some internships are paid, most are not. In addition, you have to pay tuition and register for “class” to earn 3 to 6 credit hours. Credit hours are based on the total hours worked during the semester. An academic internship establishes an employment agreement between you and your employer. So you are subject to the workplace expectations, procedures and guidelines established by your internship employer. In turn, employers are obligated to provide a safe and professional working environment.
HOW TO FIND AN INTERNSHIP?
Opportunities through the school: Consult the intern faculty sponsor in your area of study. The advising office and faculty receive requests and develop partnerships with businesses, organizations, non-profit institutions, art galleries, museums and individual professionals for internship candidates. Internships are not guaranteed. Potential employers have their own formal guidelines for accepting interns. Depending on your area of study, you might have to attend interviews, create a portfolio of your work and a resume.
Opportunities on your own: Consult with faculty in your area of study for input about what intern ships best fit your qualifications and personal/professional goals. Some areas require faculty approval of student found internships.