Internship Prep Timeline

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Career Exploration and Development
261 Schwartz Center

Three out of five graduating seniors have done one! How about you?

  • Be one of the 60% of paid interns who receive at least one employment offer upon graduation (NACE, class of 2012)

  • Develop professional skills including a personal set of values, ethics, and work standards

  • Confirm (or re-evaluate) your major and career choices

  • Experience the inner workings of a career field and gain experience to build your resume

  • Increase marketability and skills valued by potential employers

  • Gain networking opportunities and obtain professional references

  • Meet degree requirements if enrolled for credit

What can keep you from obtaining an internship?

  • Not being professional (online, on paper, and in person)

  • Lack of career goals, motivation, and follow through

  • Waiting too late to apply for opportunities

Plan ahead so you don’t fall behind!

Pre-Search Basics

Ask yourself these questions

  • What do I want to do or accomplish in my internship?

  • What skills do I currently possess?

  • Have I completed preparatory coursework related to the field?

  • If not “internship ready”, meet with a career advisor to get on track!

Know the facts about internships

  • May occur year round and often last 10-15 weeks and range from 10-30 hours per week

  • Pay, length and hours worked are negotiated between students and employers

  • Academic credit for an internship is approved by your college’s faculty/staff

  • Seek out an internship even if it’s not required by your major

Before you apply

  • Create an outstanding resume that best highlights your skills. See a Career Advisor for help

  • Gather a variety of references related to academics, work, student organization/leadership activity

Where to Search for Internships

  • Determine your preferred work environment and use your network of contacts to find openings

  • Use informational interviews to connect you with potential opportunities

  • Register with Flash @ Work to view openings

  • Attend our Fall and Spring Internship, Co-op & Career Fairs to meet with employers

  • Use our Helpful Career Websites to locate popular search websites

  • Connect with alumni through the Alumni Association

Prepare to “wow” employers!

  • Polish your one-minute elevator pitch to make it work for you!

  • Practice interviewing skills from the comfort of your home using Interview Stream

  • Complete a mock interview with a Career Advisor in the Career Exploration and Development

"Beat" the Competition


  • Investigate/apply one year ahead for some highly desirable internships

  • Create business/networking cards and pass out to contacts, friends, and family

  • Join and participate in LinkedIn industry related groups

  • Fine-tune your professional image both online and in-person

  • Join professional associations in your field

During Your Internship

  • Dress appropriately, and if expectation are unclear, check with your supervisor

  • Communicate professionally at all times

  • Be aware of the office environment and adhere to office protocols

  • Talk with everyone, not just immediate co-workers

  • Check in often with your supervisor and ask for additional work, as appropriate

  • Ask your supervisor if they will serve as a “positive” reference for you in the future

  • Maximize the experience even if you are not interested in pursuing further employment

After Your Internship


  • Use your supervisor’s feedback to assess strengths and areas for improvement

  • Update your resume with the new experience

  • Stay in touch with your supervisors and mentors