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General Information about Internships

Definition of an Internships:
Although internships vary greatly from one organization to the next, the term traditionally refers to real-world work experiences in which students fulfill short-term positions within a company or organization in order to gain hands-on experience and develop career-specific skills. Sponsoring agencies generally work with the student to meet specific learning goals and provide special mentoring or networking opportunities. In exchange, the intern helps the employer in meeting overall work goals for the agency/company. Internships may be paid or un-paid, with or without academic credit, and are of varying lengths (a semester, a summer, a year, etc). Please see our FAQ's section to learn more.

Value of Interning:
Internships provide an opportunity to gain valuable experience in a career field that interests you. It's a great way to gain specific skills and knowledge as well as make contacts and build confidence. More and more, employers are using work experiences as screening devices to assess the skills and abilities of prospective employees. Employers like to see that you've had some type of related experience before they consider you for a position. Having additional work experience before applying gives you an edge over other candidates in a competitive job market.

Internships also give you the opportunity to test out careers prior to graduation. An internship provides a more accurate picture of what individuals do in certain professions. Upon experiencing a particular job environment and seeing what it entails, you may decide it's not for you. You then have the option to change your career plans and work to find a path that is a better match for your interests and skills. Career counselors at UCS can help you make this transition.

Interning Through the University of Virginia
Although UCS does not provide academic credit and placement services for internships,* we meet with hundreds of students a year who are seeking guidance in finding internships on their own. We also provide excellent print, on-line and people resources to assist you with your search.

1) Internship Notices
UCS receives numerous independent notices of internships from a diverse group of organizations throughout the country. Occasionally, UCS will advertise these notices in the Cavalier Daily if the particular company would be of significant interest to a large number of students. However, ALL notices received through our office are posted on-line through a contract with MonsterTrak. These notices are posted specifically for UVA students and are only accessible through a password protected site. All students seeking internships and jobs are directed to this service and encouraged to search it often for the most up-to-date listings as new postings are added every day. Hard-copies of these listings are printed in our Internship Newsletter on a monthly basis which may be obtained at the UCS Information Desk.

To search MonsterTrak for UVA internship listings, visit www.monstertrak.com and follow these links:

  • Search Jobs
  • Select University of Virginia from the list of participating schools.
  • Submit UVA password (which may be obtained at UCS Information Desk, 924-8900).
  • Search Jobs & Internships

2) Internship Advising
UCS provides individual counseling appointments as well as small group advising sessions.

3) Internship Fair
This annual two day event in February brings company representatives to UVA to discuss their internship opportunities with interested students. For more information, see our February Event Calendar..

4) On-Grounds Interviewing (OGI)
Many internships in the corporate sector are obtained through this program. For more information, please refer to the OGI web page.

5) Extern Program
As an alternative to formal internship programs, UCS offers the Extern Program, a one-week mini-internship which does not involve pay or academic credit. UCS staff work to place you at the organizations you request. For more information, please refer to the Extern web page.

*If you are looking for academic credit for your internship experience, please visit the website of the University Internship Program, UVA's only formal internship program. You may also work with a professor for independent study in conjunction with related work experience.


University Career Services and Career Services Library
P.O. Box 400134, Charlottesville, Virginia 22904-4134
Phone: (434) 924-8900 Fax: (434) 924-7890
© 2003 University of Virginia Career Services