What is an Internship?
An internship is a form of experiential learning that integrates knowledge and theory learned in the classroom with practical application and skills development in a professional setting. Internships give students the opportunity to gain valuable applied experience and make connections in professional fields they are considering for career paths; and give employers the opportunity to guide and evaluate talent.
- From the National Association of Colleges and Employers
Please visit this site: http://www.longwood.edu/sacs/state-authorization/ for more information about internships and state authorizations that may be required.
Why Complete an Internship?
The primary purpose of the internship is to provide an opportunity for students work directly in an outside firm or agency, appropriate to the student's major and/or career interests, so that he or she may connect classroom learning to the work environment.
- Clarify/Explore career interests
- Determine Graduate Schools or Certifications
- Develop and expand personal skills and knowledge base
- Earn academic credit toward graduation
- Enhance productive and professional work habits
- Establish a network of contacts
- Gain practical knowledge in a professional setting
- Increase confidence by learning strengths in communication skills
- Learn personal responsibility and commitment
- Observe relevance between classroom knowledge and the working world
- Secure a competitive edge in the job-market
- Test your career choices early!
1. What is an Internship?
An internship is an on site work experience that is either directly related to your major field of study or your career interest.
2. What is the first step when preparing for an internship?
Start by visiting the career center and setup an appointment with one of our career counselors. The counselors will help you prepare for the internship world by advising you on resume/cover letter design, wording, and interview preparedness, to get you connect ready.
3. How do I find an internship?
The best way to find an internship is by visiting the career center website. We post all available internships online via Handshake. Simply create an account and begin searching.
4. How can I get an internship with no experience?
Most employers recognize that experience is what you are trying to gain by obtaining an internship. Therefore, what a lot of employers are looking for are skills developed through academic work, extracurricular experiences, volunteer experiences or any other experiences which demonstrate skills useful in work.
Not all of these skills are job specific, some skills are general such as communication skills and analytical skills, these types of skills can be transferred into various settings. Routine student jobs are important as well, student jobs demonstrate to potential employers that you have been a successful employee. Bottom line, obtaining an internship is a great way to bridge this experience gap.
5. What salary can I expect?
Internships can be both paid and unpaid depending on the experience or skills required, year in school, type of position and location of the internship. Whether paid or unpaid - remember, internships offer the experience, networking opportunities, and professional contacts for future employment.
6. When is it best to begin looking for an internship?
It is recommended that you begin looking for you first internship the second semester of your freshman year.
7. Is there a limit to how many internships a student can have?
No. The average number of internships that most students have is 3. However, some students have more depending on their career fields and aspirations and some students have less. But every student should do at least 1 internship prior to graduation.