Wisconsin's Public Liberal Arts College

Internships


Career Services

Internships

Consider an Internship

Internships and experiential learning can offer many benefits to any college degree. If you are interested in gaining experience in your field and building your resume at the same time, see the tabs below or contact Career Services today!

Types of Experiences

Internships are typically one-time work or service experiences related to a students major or career goal. The internship plan generally involves a student working in a professional setting under the supervision and monitoring of practicing professionals. Internships can be paid or unpaid, and the student may or may not receive academic credit for performing the internship.

Cooperative Education provides students with multiple periods of work in which the work is related to the students major or career goal. The typical program plan is for a student to alternate terms of full-time classroom study with terms of full-time, discipline-related employment. Since program participation involves multiple work terms, the typical participant will work three or four work terms, thus gaining a year or more of career-related work experience before graduation. Virtually all co-op positions are paid and the vast majority involves some form of academic credit.

Practicum is generally a one-time work or service experience done by a student as part of an academic class. Some practicums offer pay, but many don't. Almost all are done for academic credit.

Externships/job shadowing experience allows a student to spend between a day and several weeks observing a professional on the job. Such experiences are unpaid, however some colleges and universities pick up travel and/or living expenses. Externships and job shadowing experiences are generally not done for academic credit.

Benefits of an Internship

  • Help you learn about a career field from the inside
  • Help you decide if this is the right career field for you
  • Enable you to work alongside a professional in your chosen career area
  • Give you confidence in your knowledge, skills, and abilities
  • Let you apply some of the ideas you've learned in school
  • Give you the opportunity to practice your communication and teamwork skills
  • Allow you to meet new people and practice your networking skills
  • Provide evidence that you have initiative, are reliable and have a sense of responsibility
  • Provide a bridge between school and the professional world
  • Make a valuable addition to your resume
  • Enhance your application to Graduate School
  • Open the door to a job offer or a recommendation

Finding an Internship

  • Develop a resume and cover letter and be sure to tailor your documents to each position you apply for
  • Talk to the appropriate Internship Coordinator/Faculty/Career Services at UWS
  • Check the internship postings on Jacket Jobs and the search resources provided on the Job/Internship Search page
  • Set up a job agent to receive email updates on your search
  • Attend job fairs and career workshops to network with prospective employers
  • Check with your major academic department for possible internship leads
  • Improve your interviewing skills by visiting Career Services or setting up a Virtual Mock Interview
  • Be sure to follow up on any possible leads or to follow up on any applications you may have sent out. Be active in your search
  • Alert family, friends, faculty, and those in your network that you are searching and include a copy of your resume and criteria for your search
  • If there is a specific company or organization that you are interested in check their website or give them a call about their internship opportunities
  • Utilize On-Campus Recruiting for internships that are posted in Jacket Jobs
  • Stay after class to talk to class speakers and guests about your interests in your field and their connections or opportunities

Surviving an Internship

  • Learn as much as you can about the organization
  • Keep a weekly journal of your experience (i.e. activities and projects)
  • Sit down with your supervisor and establish mutually agreed-upon goals so you know what is expected of you
  • Be conscious of office politics - learn the power structure and who reports to whom
  • Notice how decisions really get made
  • Become familiar with all technology used
  • Develop positive traits (i.e. punctuality, dependability)
  • Don't be afraid to ask a lot of questions and be sure to follow the rules and regulations
  • Understand that some general office work is part of the job
  • Introduce new ideas gradually and avoid trying to change too much too soon
  • Ask for more responsibility. Actively look for things to do.  This initiative will prepare you for better positions in the future
  • NETWORK!  Build bridges with the people who are doing what you think you would like to do in the future. They may be able to help you in your current position or lead to contacts for future opportunities
  • Become familiar with other interns in the office. Provide a support group for each other. Develop friendships (this will help you when your internship is far away from your normal activities)

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