Completing an internship is a valuable opportunity to investigate a potential field or career, gain work experience, and learn new skills. Many employers expect college graduates to have completed at least one internship during their academic careers. Securing an internship requires similar techniques to finding a job. Before beginning an in-depth search, narrow down the realm of possibilities. Are you looking for work experience related to your major or field? Are you looking to acquire specific skills that will help you achieve your goals?
Things to Consider
- Compensation. Can you afford to work for no pay? Unpaid and volunteer positions offer valuable opportunities. Most internships can be taken for academic credit and will appear on your transcript (see the Registrar's online Internship registration packet for more information). Others provide opportunities to develop your portfolio. Weigh all the benefits an internship has to offer before making your decision.
- Time Commitment. Think carefully about how many hours you can devote to an internship, especially if there is no monetary compensation. Many internship listings specify if they are part-time or full-time, but the number of required hours may vary. Be prepared to tell an employer how many hours you can work on a weekly basis.
- Company/Organization. Do you prefer a local business or global corporation? Or perhaps something in-between? The Augustana BSAD department maintains an alphabetical list as well as a categorized list of businesses and organizations that have previously sponsored interns. Consider the size of an employer and whether you would be a good fit. Make sure you are comfortable with the employer’s views and policies.
- Field. If you do not have a specific position in mind, are you open to an internship that is related to your field of study? Or are you looking to round out your experience with an internship outside your field?
- Location. During the school year, make sure that the location of the internship is a reasonable distance from your residence or from campus. If investigating summer opportunities, are you prepared to move for the summer? Can you financially support yourself if you move for an unpaid internship?