Internships Bridge College to Career

With employers consistently citing internship experience as being among the top factors influencing hiring decisions, it makes professional, academic and personal sense for your student to participate in multiple internships.

Paid or unpaid, internships are opportunities for your student to gain valuable work experience, career marketable skills and networking contacts. Impressively, national studies have reported 57 percent of interns receive full-time job offers. In fact, many employers use intern programs to recruit entry-level college hires. Some of the benefits your student can gain from an internship include:

  • Direction in a career search
  • Increased confidence and independence
  • Better understanding of the field he or she wants to work in after graduation
  • Impressive resume credentials
  • Possible full-time employment

Finding the right internship takes research, planning, motivation and persistence. You can support your student by suggesting he or she:

Start Early

Depending on the type of internship your student is seeking and its level of competitiveness, your student can begin by:
  • Visiting Career Services to get assistance with internship search strategies, resume and cover letter writing, and interviewing techniques.
  • Meeting with a faculty adviser to assess goals.
  • Researching internship sites using online resources, such as the BW Career Network (a web-based platform designed to provide students with 24/7 access to job and internship postings, employment opportunities and alumni career mentors) and NEOintern.

Take Action

Making contacts, honing interview skills and following up with potential employers are a few of the techniques that can enable your student to stand out. Career Services offers resources and programs that can help along the way, including a workshop designed for students interested in earning academic credit for their internships.

Make a Good Impression

An internship is an opportunity for your student to be immersed in a real-world work situation. The following tips can help your student make a favorable impression and make the most of this learning experience:
  • Discuss personal goals with your supervisor as a way to build a relationship and share your aspirations for the experience. Likewise, listen carefully as he or she outlines duties and workplace protocol.
  • Understand that being an intern may include grunt work. When this happens, complete it with the same level of enthusiasm and professionalism you would for higher-level assignments.
  • Learn about the organization through attending meetings, conferences and other activities. Not only can these be great learning experiences, they can foster networking and mentoring opportunities.
  • Be aware there is a balance between being a self-starter and overstepping your place. Being a team player and having a willingness to help tackle challenging projects can make you favorably stand out.
  • Avoid workplace cliches, gossip and negativity.
  • Make sure your internship yields tangible and intangible results, such as items for a portfolio, a resume credential, newly mastered skills or insights, and/or a mentor.

Send Thank-you notes

At the conclusion of the internship, suggest your student follow up with a supervisor, mentor and others by writing notes of appreciation.