Many students wonder what an internship is, do I need one, where can I find one, can Career Services help me find an internship, will I get paid, and can I receive course credit for an internship. These are all great questions that will be answered in this section.
So what is an internship?
An internship is a position that is obtained in your field of study. Any position for which you are hired and gain skills that correspond with your classroom learning for your career can be considered an internship. This can be in the form of either a full/part-time position or a formal internship position.
What can an internship do for me? Do I really need an internship?
The experience that complements your classroom learning can be immeasurable to helping you obtain your first “real” job after completing your education. It can be difficult to obtain that first position in your career; the more experience you have the more marketable you are. Due to the economic climate most open positions are receiving numerous applicants with education and years of experience. Obtaining an internship allows you to accumulate those years of experience while finishing your education.
Also, sometimes students complete their education and start working in their field of study and discover that they really don’t like working in that field, and really don’t want to spend years in that career. If you have an internship while finishing your education you will know the reality of working in that career.
Will I receive course credit for an internship?
Many of the programs at Lake Land College offer internship courses as a way to receive credit while working in your field of study. However, if your program does not offer an internship course you may talk to your advisor about setting up an independent study to receive course credit. If you are receiving course credit for an internship you most likely will be required to complete other assignments concerning your internship other than just work at that position.
Will I be paid to be an intern?
Most internships are paid positions not unlike a part-time job. Yet many of the most prestigious internship positions are unpaid. Many companies hire successful interns for full-time positions after their graduation. You are strongly encouraged to research the internship program in advance of applying for the position to know what qualifications in which they are looking for in an intern and if it is a paid internship.
When should I get an internship?
Many of the programs at Lake Land College that offer internship credit courses have set schedules when a student is to begin their internship during their academic career. While some internship programs require that students have finished a set number of hours before hiring them as an intern. A general rule is that you have enough educational experience in your field that you have something to bring to the position for which you are hired.
How do I find an internship? Can Career Services help find me an internship?
If there is a company that you know you would like to work for after completing your education then start there. Look on company’s websites for internship program or open positions. If that company does not have an internship program, make an appointment to discuss your career plans with human resources. By showing your initiative and desire to work for that company they may create an internship for you. If you really have no idea where you would want to work talk to people who have the position you want, or ask your instructors for a recommendation for an employer. Also, Career Services may have information from employers looking for an intern and may also be able to give suggestions of where to look.
What do I need to have completed when I start looking for an internship?
Just like any other position for which you are applying, you will need to have an updated resume, cover letter, portfolio, clothes in which to interview in, and interview skills.
Cooperative Work Study Program
The CWSP is a grant, funded by the Illinois Board of Higher Education, which reimburses an Illinois employer a portion of a qualifying intern’s wages. Click here to learn more about this reimbursement opportunity.