Externships/Job Shadowing

An externship is a short term job shadowing experience that provides students the opportunity to observe an alumnus, parent or friend of Kutztown University during a typical work day. The primary purpose of the externship is career exploration. During an externship you may:

  • Observe one or more professionals
  • Attend meetings and presentations
  • Tour the work site
  • Conduct informational interviews with professionals in various departments and/or at various levels
  • Participate in daily operations that will provide you with hands-on exposure to the career field/industry

The exact itinerary for the externship is determined by the host.

What are the benefits of an externship?

An externship is a great way to test your interest in a specific career but there are other benefits as well. Through an externship you will:

  • Learn more about a job or occupation
  • Understand what a particular job is like on a daily basis
  • Expand your network of professional contacts
  • Experience the culture of an organization
  • Have your questions about a job or occupation answered by professionals in your field of interest

CLICK HERE to open the Externship/Job Shadowing Tipsheet!!!

Frequently Asked Questions for Externship Hosts


What is an externship?
An externship is a 1-3 day shadowing experience. It gives students the opportunity to test out a career path of interest by observing the day to day activities of a professional working in the field.

Who may host an extern?
Externs may be hosted by alumni, parents, or friends of Kutztown University who are in a position to assemble an itinerary of experiences that provides a “real world” look at a career area.

What are the benefits of hosting an extern?
The time commitment for hosting an extern is small, but the benefits are great.

Hosting an extern is a great way to connect or reconnect with Kutztown University and to share your knowledge and expertise with someone who is following in your footsteps. Through the externship experience, students are able to explore career options for a major, gain a realistic understanding of the career field, ask questions, and seek advice.

Please note. Externships are not required and are not awarded academic credit. Students receive no compensation for participation.

What activities should I plan for an extern?
To give students a sense of the work environment and allow them to explore career interests and goals, we recommend the following activities and experiences:

  • Observe one or more professionals
  • Attend meetings and presentations
  • Tour the work site
  • Conduct informational interviews with professionals in various departments and/or at various levels
  • Participate in daily operations that will provide the student with hands-on exposure to the career field/industry

What is the difference between an externship and an internship?
An externship is brief (one to three days) and offers no pay or academic credit while an internship is usually 3-6 months in duration and can be paid and/or awarded credit. If you would like more information about the Internship Program, please click here.

What are my rights and responsibilities as a host?
You have the right not to answer any questions or requests you feel are inappropriate or confidential. You also have the right to address, with the student, any behavior that is unacceptable in your workplace.

You have the responsibility to spend time with the student or arrange for the student to meet with colleagues, attend related meetings, tour your facility, or work on a project throughout the day. We ask that you provide an opportunity for the student to ask questions and discuss your organization and career field/industry.

How structured should the externship experience be?
This depends on you and the student. Because the students are also responsible for making this externship successful, they should communicate their interests and expectations to you. As a host, you should have a planned itinerary in place a month prior to the visit and provide the student with a written copy.

If you have questions about what kinds of activities to include in your externship, please contact Linda Lantaff in the Career Development Center at lantaff@kutztown.edu or 610-683-4067.