TRiO Pathways to Success

Internships

What’s an internship?

Internships are work-related learning experiences that provide students with an opportunity to gain important knowledge and skills in a career related field. Internships are an excellent way to gain experience in a career field of interest as well as an opportunity to try out one or more careers by getting a behind the scenes look at what it’s actually like working in the field. Many organizations use internships as a way to assess and train potential candidates for jobs. Students will often do several internships to give them exposure to a variety of related jobs or even to check out various careers of interest.

Talk to a Pathways Counselor Advocate to learn more about internships and how you can successfully land one. We also highly recommend that you meet with someone in Career Services here at Lehman as well.

Browse through these weekly updated internships and apply to any and all that interests you. Read our list of frequently asked question for tips on how to land your next internship. Also, take some time to review some of the most frightful internship myths out there to insure that you don’t fall into the same pratfalls.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about Internships

When's a Good Time to Begin Looking for Internships

The answer to this question is as soon as possible. It’s important to allow enough time to locate and apply for good internships. For internships in finance, government, publishing, etc., many of the deadlines to apply for summer internships can be as early as November. Students who begin doing internships after their first year of college are able to complete several different internships which ultimately provides them with a wide range of experiences and makes them more appealing to employers.

Where's a Good Place to Find Internships

Working with a career counselor, speaking with faculty and/or college alumni, reviewing career resources, checking out the classified ads to prospect for potential employers, and conducting Informational Interviews with alumni or professionals in the field are all excellent places to start finding what internships are available.

Check with Career Services to see if they subscribe to any of these resources. Completing a thorough self-assessment will also help to identify key knowledge, skills, interests, and personality traits that are relevant to a particular internship or job.

What Kinds of Internships are Available

Internships are available in a wide variety of fields from both the private and not-for-profit sectors of the job market. Internships may be paid or unpaid, for credit or not-for-credit, and may be pursued winter, spring, summer, or fall. You’ll see that there are internships available for all seasons. 

What's the Benefit of Doing an Internship for Credit

There are many rewarding and worthwhile internships available and some of these can be linked directly with college coursework. Working directly with an onsite supervisor and a faculty sponsor can provide a rich learning experience that includes additional reading, writing, etc., on the subject in addition to the experiential learning that takes place each day on the internship. It is not necessary to do an internship for credit in order to get a valuable internship experience.

What's the Difference Between an Internship for Credit and One That's Not

To receive credit for an internship, students will need to complete a certain number of hours at the internship site depending on the internship guidelines of Lehman College. It’s important to check out a college’s guidelines prior to doing an internship for credit. Usually colleges require additional work to be completed and students must meet specific criteria designated by a faculty member who will also act as the internship sponsor.

Internships not completed for credit are basically an agreement between the employer and the student. There is no formal contract in place and there's more room for flexibility. There also is no minimum number of hours to be completed for the internship.

Internship Myths

Internships Not Completed for Credit are Not as Valuable as Internships for Credit

Although it is true that internships for credit are included on a college transcript, employers are looking for candidates who possess the relevant skills and experience to do the job and who already have exposure to the field and know that they are interested. Resumes usually do not distinguish between internships completed for credit and those which are not.

Unpaid Internships or Volunteer Experiences Cannot be Included on a Resume

All experiences related to a particular internship or job can be included on a resume. As a student, relevant coursework, co-curricular activities, community services, volunteer experiences, and previous internships and jobs can also be included on a resume. Again, it is the relevant skills and experience that employers are looking for.

All Internships Completed for Credit Must be Unpaid

College credit is granted by the academic institution and it does not prohibit employers from paying interns a fair wage or stipend. Colleges generally encourage and support employers to pay for work completed regardless if it’s being done for credit or not. Students interested in receiving credit for an internship will often do one or more internships for credit during fall and/or spring semester and then do a not-for-credit internship during summer break.

There is no Difference Between Doing an Internship During Fall or Spring Semester or Doing an Internship for Summer

Usually colleges require that students pay tuition for summer internships for credit. The amount will depend on the number of credits received and the costs associated with credit at a particular college. Internships completed during fall or spring semester usually are rolled into the regular tuition.

What is the Difference Between Doing a Summer Internship and Working at a Summer Job

Ultimately internships should include some form of training along with direct supervision of the work involved. The purpose of an internship is to introduce and train for a particular job or gain experience in a particular career field. Summer jobs are done mainly for compensation and usually include more of an entry-level position such as cashiers, lifeguards, ride attendants, camp counselors, or working at a retail store, restaurant or resort.

Adapted from Internships & About.com

Last modified: Jul 16, 2012

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