Internship Checklist

I. Learn the internship process: When you begin looking for an internship, it’s important to ask yourself the following questions.

  • Why are you looking for an internship and do you really need one (does your program require one?)
  • Have you identified a few areas of interest or skills that you would like to develop?
  • Are you using this experience to obtain work experience only, or for academic credit, or for some other reason? Do you know how to go about obtaining academic credit for an internship?

II. Establish goals and clarify what you want: When you decide to do an internship, there are many related issues you need to consider as you clarify your needs. Here are a few:

  • Are you looking for an internship in a specific industry (like government or education) or are you looking for something that is related to your academic major?
  • Do you need to do your internship in a certain geographical area or are you willing to travel anywhere to find the perfect internship? If you are willing to travel, have you considered whether or not housing is provided for interns.
  • When do you plan on doing your internship---during the academic year or in the summer?
  • Are you able to do an unpaid internship?

III. Determine if you need academic credit: Many academic departments have a series of requirements that students must meet. If you are hoping to get academic credit for your internship experience, there are a few things you need to know.

  • It is best to contact your academic department to determine if they have an internship course or curriculum and if there are any specific academic requirements or prerequisites in order to receive credit.
  • In some cases, students may need to get internship approval for academic credit BEFORE accepting an offer or beginning the internship. In other cases, students must be registered for academic credit before the start of an academic semester.
  • Know the deadlines. For academic courses, there are application deadlines set by the university as well as the employer.

IV. Develop a search strategy & use appropriate resources

Go to your nearest university Career Center and register with the Handshake (the university’s job bank) to find part-time or full-time opportunities, including on-campus jobs, internships, and careers.

  • Write a resume and have it critiqued by a career advisor at the Career Center
  • Attend workshops that pertain to internships and how to conduct a job search
  • Network with professionals or develop a network that includes family, friends and faculty members
  • Attend job fairs during the fall and spring semesters

V. Practice your interviewing skills

  • Schedule a mock interview session with the Career Center
  • Research your internship position and the company with whom you will be interviewing
  • Prepare a list of questions you would like answered during the interview
  • Send a thank-you note to the person who interviewed you immediately after the interview