Career Development

Internships and Experiential Learning


Experiential learning is a process through which students develop knowledge, skills, and values from direct experiences outside a traditional academic setting. Experiential learning encompasses a variety of activities where terms and concepts learned in the classroom are applied in a hands-on experience. Taking part in these experiences is an important aspect of career exploration and building competitive skills sought out by employers. 


Externship/Job Shadow

During an externship or job shadowing experience, students will observe a professional in a particular field to help further explore different career paths and gain on-the-job training. This is a short term (typically one day to one week), unpaid opportunity.


An internship is a temporary professional opportunity (paid or unpaid) for students to apply classroom concepts and knowledge in a practical, hands-on experience. Students will receive on-the-job training, gain industry knowledge and skills, and build their professional network.

Schedule an appointment with a Career Coach and visit these links to start your search:


Micro-internships are short-term professional assignments that are similar to those given to new hires or interns.  These projects enable you to demonstrate skills, explore career paths, and build your network as you seek the right full-time role.  Micro-internships can be paid or unpaid and typically range from 5-40 hours of work, providing opportunities for current students to gain skills and experience and recent alumni to bridge the gap between graduation and their first post-Xavier role.  Explore micro-internships through Parker-Dewey. 

Service Learning

"Service Learning is an academically based instructional strategy, credit bearing or required for a degree, that provides students with both meaningful service opportunities in interactive partnership with the community and academic structures for analysis and reflection on their contributions and learning."  Bringle, R.G., & Hatcher, J.A.; Implementing Service-Learning in Higher Education.  Following are some Xavier University resources for more information about service learning:

Undergraduate Research

Undergraduate research allows students to gain hands-on experience in investigation and research. Students have the opportunity to assist faculty with research or lead research of their own, giving them experience in research design, empirical observation, innovative technology, review board processes and more! Contact faculty within your department to learn about ways to get involved.


A practicum provides students with the opportunity to shadow and observe professionals in their field to learn how professionals perform their job duties on-site. Practicums are typically an unpaid required element of academic programs.

Field Placement

During a field placement, students have the opportunity to gain work experience in their field, while under the supervision of a professional. Often required as part of specific academic programs.

Clinical - Nursing

Clinical experiences provide students with the opportunity to observe and treat real patients in a medical setting. These experiences are often unpaid and required of academic programs within the medical field.


Have you participated in experiential learning?  Share your experience!
  • Login to your Handshake account.
  • Click on the Career Center tab.
  • Select Experiences, then Request an Experience.
  • Complete the brief form.