Internships Bring a World of Possibilities

Internships are work or volunteer opportunities around the world for upper-level and graduate students consistent with their academic majors or courses of study and their career goals. Students in internship programs are matched with employers, organizations, and agencies for the supervised performance of tasks that will be meaningful to their further education and employment. Internships may be full time or part time, and may be paid or unpaid. Compensation, if any, may be in the form of salary or hourly wages, stipends, room and board, or living allowances.

The purpose and value of internships is to promote critical thinking and observation, and to foster a student’s personal, intellectual, and professional growth, all of which are essential for career preparation.

What's Needed for an Internship?

In order to participate in internship programs, students must typically meet specified grade point averages and complete other minimum requirements as defined by their learning institutions.

A student interested in applying for an internship is usually asked to perform a self-evaluation of his or her personal and academic interests, career goals and work values, and an assessment of his or her abilities and skills.

An internship may be parallel, with the student attending school part time and working part time, or alternating, which means that the student would alternate between working one quarter and attending school the next.

A student doing an internship is provided by the hiring employer with a supervisor who oversees his or her daily work and, at the end of the work term, completes an evaluation form, which is forwarded to the learning institution. In turn, the student typically completes an exit interview with his or her learning institution, providing the school with a written job summary and details about any future internship offered. The student’s evaluation form or performance report from the employer is typically re-reviewed with a faculty mentor at that time.

An internship may be performed in one’s own home location, or it might afford a student the opportunity to travel abroad. An international internship might involve working in the fashion industry in Italy, in a financial institution in London, or in broadcasting in New York. A student from Vancouver, BC, might be given the opportunity to study and work at a bank in Austria, leading to a career in international banking. A foreign internship could also entail shadowing doctors at hospitals and health clinics in Tanzania, or teaching AIDS/HIV prevention methods to students, church groups, and community members there.

College students, vocational students and graduate students from around the world can find internships to be experiences that can greatly enrich their lives. Companies, organizations, and agencies around the world participate in internship programs in their efforts to find the best and the brightest students in whom to invest their future.

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