An internship is a pre-professional career training experience with intentional learning
goals. Internships provide real world experience to help students explore or gain
the relevant knowledge and skills required to enter a particular career field.
Internships are relatively short term in nature with the primary focus on getting
some on-the-job training and taking what's learned in the classroom and applying it
to the real world. A site supervisor assigns specific tasks and evaluates the overall
work of the intern. If the internship is for college credit an internship coordinator
or faculty advisor will work along with the site supervisor to ensure that the necessary
learning is taking place.
Internships may be full or part-time, paid or unpaid positions and generally are a
three to six month experience. An internship is a credit-bearing course with objectives
related to one's educational goals that has academic rigor. The intern should expect
to set objectives, report on progress made and make reflections on what has been learned.
Generally, a student will need to work 60 hours for each college credit.
Why should I complete an Internship?
"Internships are a near necessity in the quest to find a job in today's market." ---US News and World Report May 2010
Some of the most common reasons for completing an internship are:
• To gain insider knowledge about a career • To decide if a specific career is the right path • To gain college credits • To learn skills from someone experienced in a field • To gain more confidence in current abilities • To learn how to apply skills learned in the classroom • To meet others in a field and build a professional network • To enhance a resume or grad school application
Here are some more in-depth reasons why an internship is such an important step to
your career success:
Employers are looking for experience in the new college grads they hire. According to surveys, 95 percent of employers want their new-grad hires to have experience,
and almost half of those prefer students get that experience through internships.
If you complete an internship, you have a huge advantage over those that don't.
Employers use their internship programs as recruiting tools for future employees.
Not only does participation in an internship make you a more attractive candidate,
but it can also be an avenue to a job. The National Association of Colleges and Employers
(NACE) reported in their 2013 survey that 56.5 percent of all interns were offered
full time employment following their internship.
You may get paid more when you graduate if you've done one or more internships. Even back in 2005, NACE reported that surveyed employers who hired entry-level candidates
with internship/co-op experience paid them 6.5 percent more than those without the
Internships give you a chance to "test drive" a career. An internship will give you an opportunity to see if a career is really for you. After
completing the internship you may find the career is not a good fit or you may discover
that the field is exactly the direction you want to go. Either way isn't it better
to figure all this out before you graduate and can make course corrections if necessary?
You will develop many new skills that can't be learned in a classroom. In an internship you will have the opportunity to interact with people on a profession
level and in a way that you would never have the opportunity to do in the classroom.
Besides learning more about the specific skills in your industry you may have the
opportunity to hone your communication, teamwork, leadership, and problem-solving
skills which employers in any industry seek in new hires.
You will build your resume. An internship will give you career-relevant experience that you can put on your resume
to stand out above your peers who have spent their college years working at a restaurant
or other get-through-school kinds of jobs. Internships are also great resume builders
for students who are applying for grad school.
Even with all these compelling reasons for completing an internship, some students
feel they have insurmountable obstacles that keep them from doing an internship. Perhaps
you must hold down a full time paying job that leaves no time for an internship or
maybe you have family, athletic or extracurricular obligations. While all of these
are legitimate obstacles, it is still important for you to complete an internship
as part of your education at UVU. Please visit the Internship Services Office to discuss
ways to overcome these challenges. We will help you think creatively about how you
can do an internship even if you are convinced you can't.