Internships Defined

What are Internships & Why Have One?

Internships Defined

student standing in front of business school

Often referred to as "experiential learning," an internship is an opportunity to go outside the classroom to experience real-world learning in a professional work environment. Internships can add much value to a student's career exploration and development, and in some cases may provide early access into their chosen career.

Typically students will seek an internship in a field related to their major. Internships can be paid or unpaid, depending on the industry. Either way, the work performed during an internship should be highly educational, closely supervised, include learning objectives, and reinforce a student’s academic training. In addition, internships should be of limited duration.

What Should I Look for in an Internship?

  • The position relates to your academic major and career interests.
  • Opportunity to work closely with a supervisor or mentor at a job site is pivotal to making an internship successful.
  • Student learning goals are clearly defined and reinforced throughout the internship experience.
  • Ongoing supervisor feedback including formal evaluation/exit interview at the conclusion of the internship.
  • Internship experience is for a limited duration of time (not on-going):  Typical duration for unpaid internships is one academic term; paid internships may be longer (see Compensation for detailed information).