An internship is faculty mentor-guided experiential learning experience that empowers you to integrate knowledge and theory learned in the classroom with practical application and skills development in a professional setting.
A meaningful internship is a partnership between Stetson University and a host employer, collaboratively defined and guided by you, a faculty internship mentor and an on-site supervisor from the host employer.
To ensure that an experience is educational and is eligible to be considered a university-recognized internship, the following criteria must be met:
- The experience must be an extension of the curriculum -- a learning experience that provides for applying knowledge gained through the curriculum. It must not be simply to advance the operations of the host employer or be the work that a regular employee would routinely perform.
- The skills or knowledge learned must be transferable to other employment settings.
- The experience has a defined beginning and end, and a description of on-site internship functions, expectations and desired qualifications provided by the host employer.
- There are clearly developed learning objectives/goals, defined collaboratively by the student and faculty internship mentor, related to the professional goals of the student's academic coursework.
- There is on-site supervision by a professional with expertise and an educational and/or professional background in the field of the experience.
- Routine feedback is provided by the experienced on-site supervisor.
- Resources, equipment and facilities are provided by the host employer that support learning objectives/goals.
Where Do I Do an Internship?
Internships can take place in any setting in which people work, including private businesses, government offices, non-profit organizations, schools and medical facilities.
When Should I Do an Internship?
That's your choice! You can intern during the summer or during the school year, for several weeks or several months, for six to eight hours a week or up to 40 hours a week. Many structured internship programs prefer students in their junior or senior years. However, first-year students and sophomores may be able to create their own individualized internship experience as well.
Why Should I Do an Internship?
When you participate in an internship experience, you can:
- Determine if a particular field is a right fit for you
- Find out how to prepare for a career in a certain field
- Build a strong resume
- Develop a network of professional contacts for future opportunities and references
- Learn which workplace skills you need to develop
- Find out what to expect when you transition into a full-time job
- Potentially turn your internship into a full-time job opportunity
- Discover what career fields and jobs you DO NOT want to pursue.
Internships are essential in today's college employment marketplace. Many employers that hire college graduates consider internship experience to be just as important as grades and organizational involvement. When it comes time to interview and hire, employers usually select graduates who have completed internships over those who have not.
Finding an Internship
- Use the Internship Checklist. It provides important steps that will help lead you to success in your search.
- Academic Departments If you haven't talked to your advisor, make sure you do! Advisors and faculty are outstanding resources for internship opportunities! Also, your academic department will often have an internship contact and/or a list of internship opportunities showing where students have interned in the past.
- Conduct an online search. Some good websites to get you started are:
- Network! First, use our Networking and You guide to learn what networking is. Then, set up an informational interview with a contact in your field of interest, and talk to your family, friends and faculty who may know of places or people who can provide you with a great internship experience!
- Visit the Career Development Resource Library in Flagler Hall room 102. Also visit the duPont-Ball Library for additional internship information.
- Join campus organizations, honor societies and professional organizations
- Attend the Annual Career Expo (ACE) in the spring.
- Develop your own! Many internships aren't actually posted positions. You can develop your own internship by contacting a company that interests you. Research employers and then either send a letter of interest or call them to discuss a potential internship. Not sure how? Make an appointment with a counselor in Career Development to learn more about creating your own internship in your field of interest.
If you're interested in a research internship, the Stetson University Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) offers twelve undergraduate research internship positions every year.