An internship is a carefully monitored work or volunteer experience with intentional learning goals. It is temporary work that enhances your resume and gives you professional experience. Internships are a key ingredient to success, often getting your foot in the door for your first full-time, permanent position.
What types of internships exist?
- Paid or Unpaid Internships
- For-Credit Internships (see your department for details/requirements)
- Volunteer Experiences
- Summer, Fall, and Spring Internships
- Part-time Related Work Experience
What is the best time to do an internship?
The ideal time to do an internship is during the 2nd semester of your sophomore year or during your junior year. This gives you the option of doing another internship when you are a senior. However, it is NEVER too late to do an internship! Many college graduates opt to gain a post-baccalaureate internship—an internship conducted after graduation.
Why do an Internship?
- It’s a way to explore career options and fields of interest
- Network and develop professional contacts
- Increase your self-confidence, knowledge and professionalism
- It’s the most effective way to obtain employment after graduation
- Find out before graduation what you’d like to do after graduation
How can I prepare for an Internship?
KU Resources and Services:
Getting Internships and Related Experience Guidebook
This guidebook addresses all your questions regarding the various types of internships, preparing for them, finding and applying for internships, making the most of your experience, as well as resume and interviewing tips.
Finding Internships Info Session
How can you gain related experience? Discover the ways to find internships and differentiate yourself from other candidates-the competition! Find the answers to these and other internship questions. Check the events calendar for specific dates and times.
Resume and Cover Letter Review Service
Your first impression starts here. Make sure you’re putting forth your best self and taking full advantage of this valuable marketing tool by using the CDC’s free review service. Create and revise your resume using our Resume and Cover Letter Guidebook, then proofread your final draft and drop it off at the Career Center or email it to email@example.com. Your resume will be reviewed by a staff member and ready for pick-up within 7-10 business days.
Interviewing well is an essential component to making a good impression. The KU Career Network (KUCN) provides you with the opportunity to practice for any job interview using a computer and webcam. Record your practice interview and submit it by email to the Career Center staff for feedback within 7-10 business days. Get started with your interview here. For additional tips, please see the Interviewing Successfully Guidebook.
Career Resource Library
The CDC Career Library has many resources including pamphlets from companies and organizations partnering with KU, books on conducting your internship search and our Internship Series binders listing potential Internship site locations.
Individual Career Counseling/Career Coaching Sessions
Schedule an appointment with a staff member to discuss your ideas, questions, or concerns regarding internships by calling 610-683-4067.
Where can I find an Internship?
Internship & Job Fair
Each Fall and Spring the CDC hosts an Internship & Job Fair. Local and national employers are represented at this event to share information regarding their full, part-time, and seasonal positions as well as internship opportunities. This is your chance to shake hands, get your resume out and to converse with employers. Check the events calendar for specific dates and times.
KU Career Network (KUCN)
KU Career Network is the primary online resource for preparing and connecting students and alumni with employers. In addition to accessing job and internship postings, students can find employer profiles, career resources, and information about CDC job fairs, events and workshops. Explore the KU Job & Internship Database here.
There are many websites that contain valuable information on conducting your internship search as well as leads on internship opportunities.
Discipline related websites help narrow your search to a specific industry or specialty area:
- Artistic Internships
- Entertainment Jobs & Internships
- Environmental Internships
- Government Internships
- Health/Medical Internships
- Non-Profit Internships
- Science Internships
- Smithsonian Opportunities
- The Student Conservation Association
- The Washington Center Internship Program
- US Department of State
- Walt Disney World College Program
Job Boards/Aggregated Searching Sites
These websites provide a large, more general search engine with opportunities from all industries:
- Get that Gig
- Internships & Summer Jobs
- Pennsylvania Intern.com
Chamber of Commerce Sites
Employer Research is a great way to learn about organizations in a particular geographic area that relate to your career interests. Review organizations’ careers or employment page to see if they have an internship program. If not, consider contacting the HR department or hiring manager to inquire if they’d consider hosting an intern. Be sure to communicate your skills, how you can contribute to their organization, and how working with them would relate to your career interests.
Search for specific chamber websites (e.g. use the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce site if you desire to work with a company based in the Lehigh Valley). Click on "Business Directory” on the left-hand side of the menu at the top of the page. Then search by Quick Links or Category to perform a targeted job search. Please note that the search procedure may vary slightly by site.
- Reading Chamber of Commerce
- Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce
- Harrisburg Chamber of Commerce
- Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce
- PA Chamber of Commerce
Utilize all your contacts by informing them of your desire to intern, about your career goals and interests, as well as reminding them of your skills and experience. Contact everyone: past teachers, family, friends, faculty, supervisors, and classmates. Interact face-to-face, over the phone, or through social media. Just be sure to monitor how you present yourself digitally; clean up all your photos, postings, and online profiles to reflect a professional image. To create a professional networking profile on Linkedin please visit: Building a Great Student Profile.