Internship & Co-op Frequently Asked Questions

Q:  Why should I do an internship?

A:  There are a number of excellent reasons to do an internship, including the following:

  • Develop professional skills necessary for success in the workforce.
  • "Test drive" jobs related to your major or field of study.
  • Apply what you are learning in the classroom in a real world setting.
  • Earn money and/or academic credit.
  • Become more marketable in your future career.  Research shows that students with work-related experience become employed more quickly, are more likely to be employed in their field of study, and are more satisfied with their positions.

Q: Do I need an internship to graduate?

A: Depending on your major, an internship may not be a graduation requirement. However, having an internship will greatly increase your chances of getting a job after graduation. One of the few ways to have experience before graduation in a field of your interest is to have at least one internship.

Q: When is the best time to do an internship?

A: Doing an internship depends largely on your academic load and your time. Most students do an internship during their junior or senior year. Some students dedicate a summer toward their internship. If you have questions, go to the Career Development Office for assistance.

Q: How many hours do students serve at internship sites?

A: Internship hours vary from site to site but the average is about 12-16 hours a week.

Q: Are internships paid or unpaid?

A: Internships can be paid or unpaid. You will find paid internships on eRecruiting - only non-profit organizations are permitted to post unpaid opportunities on eRecruiting. If you're having trouble determining if an organization will pay you for an internship, please come to the Career Development Office for assistance.

 The U.S. Department of Labor has standards for which organizations must meet to hire unpaid interns.  View Fact Sheet #71 to understand these requirements.

Q: How do I find an internship?

 

A:  Your internship search is quite similar to a job search - you will need a resume and cover letter, an internship search strategy, and will likely interview for the position.  A variety of resources are available.  Schedule an appointment in the Career Development Office, connect with your faculty members, and don't forget how helpful your mentors and network can be as you seek out opportunities for which to apply.

Q: Shouldn't I just keep my current job?

A: Ask yourself this, "Do I want to stay where I'm at when I graduate?" Let's assume your answer is no. Many current "entry-level" jobs ask for experience. How do you get that experience? You get it through various types of experiential education. The Career Development Office can assist you in getting experience before you graduate.