Asked Questions about Internships
is the difference between an internship and an Externship?
An externship is an unpaid position with a company of your choice
for a 40 hour week during Winter, Spring or Summer breaks. The extern
program is administered by University Career Services, and students
are placed in externships by the UCS staff. For full information,
please see the Extern web site.
internship is administered by the individual organization desiring
interns, therefore, its structure and policies will vary. Internships
may last anywhere from a few weeks to a semester to a full year,
they may be full or part-time, and they may be paid or volunteer
positions. Some intern sponsors require that a student receive
academic credit for the internship.
UCS place me in an internship?
Since requirements and deadlines vary a great deal, you are responsible
for identifying and applying for internships yourself. However,
we offer assistance in the form of individual advising, internship
listings, and informational sessions. You may also attend a Jefferson
Extern Workshop which offers specific guidance on contacting potential
sponsors. Please see our <Internship General Information>
page for more information.
are most internship deadlines?
Application deadlines are set by the individual organization and
therefore vary widely. Some well-established annual programs have
quite early deadlines (e.g., November or December for a summer placement),
whereas some smaller companies may not know whether they will require
summer interns until March or April (and sometimes later).
is wise to begin your summer internship search early in the Fall
semester so as not to miss early deadlines; then return to UCS periodically
through Spring semester, continuing to research new notices as they
arrive, until you find a placement.
I need a resume to apply for internships?
This depends on the sponsoring organization, but most organizations
will require a resume and/or an application. Read notices carefully
and follow the instructions accurately. If you need a resume, UCS
has several handouts and numerous books on resume-writing, as well
as a resume critique service to assist you.
internships just for fourth-year students?
Many organizations prefer their interns to be upper-level or graduate
students, but will allow any college student to apply. Although
you will be most competitive for internships the summer after your
third year, an interest in the field (and sometimes academic or
previous work background) can help you compete at a younger age.
You are encouraged to begin interning as early as you can in order
to get as much career-related experience as possible before graduation.
can I get academic credit for an internship?
You can gain academic credit in one of two ways. UVA has only one
formal internship program, the University
Internship Program (UIP). It is offered through the Psychology/Sociology
Departments and is available to rising and current fourth-year students
of any major. The UIP is usually a two-semester, eight- credit course
requiring ten hours of work per week in the field; however, other
program options are also available (including a summer program).
Interested students should apply the second semester of their third
year to Nancy Gansneder, Program Director, University Internship
Program, 918 Emmet Street North, Suite 300, (804) 982-5552.
If you independently acquire an internship and need to receive credit,
it may also be possible for you to arrange credit independently
with a dean, adviser or professor who teaches a related subject.
In partnership with them, you may arrange an independent study project
that incorporates your internship experience.
important is it to get experience by interning while I am in college?
Internships are of great importance for two reasons:
(and probably most important), you will not know if your chosen
career field is right for you until you have worked in the actual
setting and had exposure to people doing the type of work you imagine.
Classroom experience and real-world work experience are two very
different things. You will make a wiser personal choice by "testing"
a career field before graduation, so that you have an accurate picture
of the work involved and whether it will be fulfilling for you.
more and more employers are making hiring decisions based on demonstrated
career-related experience during the college years. In order to
be competitive in the job market, you should be able to show-- with
paying jobs, volunteer positions or internships-- previous exposure
to and seriousness about the career field.
can I get help with deciding what internship I should pursue?
UCS career counselors can assist with initial exploration, final
decision-making and application procedures. Make an appointment
through the UCS Information Desk or attend an internship information
session as early as possible to get general
information on your internship search. The Annual
Internship Fair is an opportunity to meet actual internship
sponsors in order to decide if a particular internship program will
be a good fit for you.