Graduating students point to their internship as one of the most important ways to determine whether their chosen career is going to be a good match. They are also report that having pertinent experience is a big plus when looking for full time positions upon graduation. There is little doubt that obtaining a great internship gives students a competitive advantage.
What is an internship? Generally, an internship is short term work experience for students within a year or two from graduation which provides significant, meaningful learning experiences relevant to the student's major. Internships are often thought to be full time during the summer but they can also be part time during the academic year.
Faculty members strongly encourage students to gain related work experience because they then have the opportunity to apply what they have learned in their classes and to refine their relevant skills. The experiences and accomplishments during the internships enhance and strengthen students' resumes, as well as provide concrete evidence during interviews of the students' true understanding of the nature of the work.
Finding an Internship
A great source of internship opportunities is Sun Devil Career Link. Employers post the internships and may elect to interview on campus to fill those positions. It is always a good idea to be up to date on new listings to insure that you are considered for the best opportunities.
Join a business student organization. At group meetings, recruiters frequently speak about opportunities in their organizations. They may point you to their web site for additional information so don't overlook this valuable resource.
Consider creating your own internship. Market yourself to prospective employers who do not have formal internship programs. Discuss strategies with your career consultant in the Business Career Center or with the internship advisor in your academic department.
Academic Credit for Internships
In certain specific situations, you may be eligible to earn academic credit for an internship, however, this is not a given. For credit to be awarded, it must be arranged through the academic department's faculty internship advisor before starting the internship.
The decision to award credit is at the discretion of each academic department. While your department may not award academic credit for internships, don't be dissuaded from participating in an internship which relates well to your chosen career. The most important aspect of an internship is the experience that it provides.
For further information, contact the internship advisors in your major department.