Why should I consider an Internship?
There are many important reasons to consider an internship, regardless of academic credit or pay. Here are just a few:
- Hands-on learning about a career field
- Find out if this is the right career field for you
- Work alongside a professional in your chosen career and build networking opportunities
- Gain new skills, gain confidence in your abilities, add to your knowledge base
- Add a valuable addition to your résumé and/or enhance your application to graduate school
- Open the door to a future job offer or next steps to take on your career path
How do I find an Internship?
- Plan ahead. Depending on the opportunity, internships can be competitive and take time to find. Do your research 2-6 months in advance. While you may not have the internship set up that far in advance, at least you will have thought through your options.
- Think about what you would like to do. This is your opportunity to dream big! Consider the types of occupations or companies you are curious learning more about. If you are interested in academic credit for your internship, make sure it will fit with your major.
- Utilize your resources and connections. This can include family, friends, members from your church, faculty advisors from school, and of course, CBU Career Services. CBU Career Connect will have some postings for internship opportunities and our office can help you narrow down your search for local internships. The internet is also a useful source for internship opportunities for students who are savvy internet browsers. Not all internship opportunities are listed on an online job board or a company/organization’s’ website – so don’t limit yourself!
Do I need a résumé? How do I create one?
In a word, yes. Internships, like jobs, are competitive. All professional positions for college graduates require a résumé, and because an internship is considered “training” for future employment (not necessarily for that company, but for the workforce in general) you can assume a résumé is part of the process. Develop your résumé on OptimalResume! Go to cbu.optimalresume.com (register using your CBU email address) to look at sample résumés, formatting options, and general advice and begin to build your résumé. Come by the Resume Review Lab during the times noted (left side bar) for help and feedback!
How many hours (per week) should I expect to commit to my Internship site?
The time you commit for your internship is variable, depending on your schedule and the needs of the employer. Most internship sites expect a student to commit between 8-20 hours per week. For the experience to be worthwhile to the employer and a viable hands-on learning experience for you, the ideal commitment averages 8-15 hours per week for approximately 10-14 weeks. Academic disciplines require a minimum of 40 hours for each unit of academic credit received. Bottom line for internships, whatever you and your employer agree upon regarding a weekly schedule and hourly commitment, the burden is on you to fulfill that commitment. Otherwise, you jeopardize your own experience, your grade (if you are enrolled for credit), a positive recommendation, and the potential for future experiences for other CBU students.
Can I get academic credit for my Internship?
Most undergraduate majors will allow students to obtain academic credit for their internship and some majors require an internship as part of the program. These are administered by a faculty member in a given major as an upper division course. A syllabus provided by the faculty member outlines additional requirements (above and beyond your on-site hours) in order to receive a grade. Generally, a student must have junior or senior status, and most students receive 1-3 units of upper division elective credit per semester (up to 6 units). It is important to note, an internship experience must satisfy CBU's Definition and Criteria for Academic Credit Internships in order to be considered.
Can I get paid for an Internship?
Some internships are paid, many are not. This depends on the type of employer and their ability to pay student interns. Some for-profit national firms have established internship programs that routinely pay students, but this is not always the norm. Non-profit organizations and government organizations are often unable to pay interns because of budget constraints, but these can often be great opportunities because students are often given greater responsibility.
NOTE: Many unpaid internship employers will also require a student to be enrolled in an internship course for academic credit in order to provide this opportunity. California law states that “Students working as interns or trainees to fulfill licensing requirements, or to qualify for a skilled vocation or profession, are not employees under the (Department of Labor Standards Enforcement) guidelines (and thus exempt from wage and hour laws) if the training is academically oriented and designed primarily for the benefit of the student.”
Excerpt from opinion letter: 1998.11.12 CA Division of Labor Standards Enforcement
US Immigration laws require that paid, off-campus internships for international students must meet the following criteria:
- Fits with academic major and/or required course of study (faculty approval of internship is required)
- MUST be enrolled for academic credit
- Part-time hours only (up to 20 hours per week)
- MUST be approved for CPT (Curricular Practical Training) through the International Student Services office. Source: U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement