Whether you want to explore a career direction or gain valuable experience in your chosen field, an internship is an important part of your career preparation. Learn how to find and apply for internships, what to expect, and review online resources with internship postings. 

Pursue an Internship

An internship is a supervised, workplace-based, experiential learning opportunity. It is an important part of your career development because it allows you to connect theory learned in the classroom with practical application, and explore career paths. Internships can be paid or unpaid, and you may or may not earn academic credit for it. Unpaid internships usually require you to be earning academic credit. 

For the purposes of this section we use the term "internship" broadly to include any workplace-based experiential education program, including clinical placements (as in nursing), practicums (education), field placements (social work), etc. In addition, there are opportunities to complete post-graduate internships or bridge programs, which offer recent graduates an opportunity to gain valuable workplace-based experiences. For more information on these please see the resources section listed below. 

If you have any questions about internships, including determining what type of internship you would like to pursue and how to go about obtaining it, schedule time to meet with a CEC career coach.

    • Exploring careers and learn more about a potential field/industry. 
    • Putting academic theory into practice and experiencing what a work environment is really like. 
    • Developing current skills and learning new ones. 
    • Clarifying career goals and discovering what types of work you like, and don't like, to do. 
    • Meeting new people and beginning to build your network. 
    • Seeing a favorable impact on hiring. According to a recent survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), students who complete internships often find a job more quickly after school than students who have not done one.

    Internship experiences typically have requirements for both the intern and the host organization. This is especially true if you want the internship to qualify for academic credit. After all, while you will be working in a real world setting, you are earning credit as part of your overall academic program and therefore the experience must be of demonstrable educational value.

    While exact department requirements vary, here are typical guidelines for both students and employers participating in an internship:


    • Maintain professional workplace appearance and behavior
    • Perform assigned tasks and responsibilities to acceptable standards
    • Maintain reflections journal during internship
    • Prepare and present final report at end of internship experience

    Host Organization (Employer)

    • Provide substantive work experience for student
    • Clearly and explicitly delineate student work role
    • Designate an on-site supervisor
    • Provide mid-point and final performance evaluations
    • Be accessible for faculty and/or career advisor site visit
    • Provide a stipend/compensation, academic credit, or both

    For non-students that are participating in internships there will likely be similar guidelines put into place. See this article, Adult Internships, for helpful information on obtaining an internship while not in college. 

    • Be sure to get started early as some internship opportunities have strict deadlines!
    • Review the Six Steps to Finding an Internship 
    • Check out the Career Spots video on Finding a Co-op or Internship
    • Current students, graduate students, and alumnae/i - use Handshake to search through internship listings across the country that are updated daily
    • Attend an on or off-campus Employer Event
    • Use the Beatley Career LibGuides by Discipline to find internship search resources by programs
    • Reach out to your network! For tips on how to best do this, check out our Networking page

    Current Students:

    • Contact your faculty advisor and/or the internship coordinator in your program 
    • English, History, Modern Languages, Philosophy, and Women’s and Gender Studies majors, are required to complete the Humanities 370 Career Preparation Course

    If you have any questions about internships, including determining what type of internship you would like to pursue and how to go about obtaining it, schedule time to meet with a CEC career coach.

    Current students should also reach out to your faculty advisor and/or your department internship coordinator.

    The following are selected additional resources for exploring, locating, and landing an internship:

    Simmons Library

    • Career LibGuides by Discipline
    • OneSource: Use OneSource to find both top-line information and in-depth intelligence on industries, companies (both public and private), executives and corporate family structures.

    Career/Industry Research

    Internship Listings