WHAT IS AN INTERNSHIP?
An internship is a form of experiential learning that integrates knowledge and theory learned in the classroom with practical application and skills development in a professional setting. Internships give students the opportunity to gain valuable applied experience and make connections in professional fields they are considering for career paths; and give employers the opportunity to guide and evaluate talent.
Employers continue to express a strong preference for job candidates who had completed at least one internship. Because employers have fewer hiring opportunities and a larger pool of candidates, they often rely on internship evaluations to make hiring decisions. Internships benefit both students and employers. They help students transfer the skills they are learning in the classroom to the workplace, gain real-world experiences, make industry connections and perhaps even land a job. Internships allow employers to “try out” potential employees. Listen to what employers have to say about internships.
Benefits of an internship:
- Provides direct experience in your field.
- Gives you an opportunity for professional development.
- Gain valuable skills in your career field.
- Opportunity to “try out” a job in your field of study.
- Builds networks for future job opportunities.
- An Internship opportunity focuses on providing valuable meaningful field experience that is structured around a specific major or field of study and directly complements a student's classroom learning. It may be used towards degree credits, varies in lengths, and can either be paid or non-paid.
- Volunteer work is usually done for personal fulfillment and enjoyment as a student uses their interests and skills. There is usually no pay or college credit involved and can occur on an on-going basis or short-term projects. Many volunteer opportunities occur within non-profit or city agencies.
- There are some overlap between volunteer work and internships.
- See the Volunteer information at the bottom of this page for online volunteer resources.