For Jan Plan internships, the on-line registration form becomes available October 15th and the deadline for applying is December 15th. For summer internships, the application becomes available March 15th and the deadline for applying is May 15th.
What Is An Internship?
An internship is a monitored work experience in which a student has intentional learning goals and reflects on what she or he is learning throughout the experience. An internship most frequently takes place at an off-campus job site and is monitored by an on-site work supervisor. It is designed to broaden a student's awareness of a career field and specific jobs within that field.
There are several reasons for registering your internship, although it is not mandatory. Many students complete rewarding internships and include these experiences on their resumes, without going through the formal registration process. However, there are two reasons why students do choose to register their internships. The primary reason is to earn Jan Plan credit. The other reason is that many employers are now requiring written documentation from the college that the internship has been formally registered and is under the supervision of a Faculty Sponsor.
- Finding an Internship
There are a variety of ways that students find internships that match their career interests, including networking, contacting alumni, and researching online sites. Your first stop should be the Office of Career Services where a Career Counselor can meet with you to discuss the various avenues to take on locating an internship. For more detailed information, see the section "How to Find an Internship" below.
- Faculty Sponsor
All registered internships start with identifying a Faculty Sponsor who will provide formal approval of your on-line application and then review the academic products to be handed in at the conclusion of the internship. The Faculty Sponsor's academic specialty is usually in an area related to the subject of the internship.
Typically, this process begins with a verbal agreement between student and faculty member on the general nature of the internship, the anticipated responsibilities involved, and the general learning outcomes the student hopes to achieve. Agreement is also made on the nature and scope of the final academic product, which is frequently a Reflective Journal, an Analytical Paper or a Creative Project.
- On-line Application Form
The application form for registering your internship can be accessed through the Registrar's web page or by going to http://www.colby.edu/registrar/internship/InternApp.cfm. The application specifies details about the internship, such as company name, address, site supervisor's name and hours to be worked. The minimum number of hours for a Jan Plan internship is 30 hours/week at the job site (100 total hours).
The application also calls for a detailed proposal. The proposal is a critical component of your application and is the primary basis upon which final approval will be decided. The proposal should
- Specify the anticipated responsibilities or projects the internship will entail.
- State what the student hopes to learn during the internship.
- State how the internship relates to long term goals. The Office of Career Services recognizes that exploring a new career field is a legitimate goal of an internship experience.
- Specify the nature and scope of the final academic product that will be delivered at the end of the internship.
- Registering Your Internship
You will need to register for an internship just as you would register for a course. The course name and number for the internship can be located under the department of your Faculty Supervisor. This step needs to be done in order for you to receive transcript notation of your internship experience. Please understand that you will not receive transcript notation if you register for the internship, but do not complete an application.
- Approval Process
Once you submit your application, it will automatically be forwarded to your Faculty Sponsor. When your Faculty Sponsor grants approval, it is forwarded to Career Services for final review. The Faculty Sponsor or the Office of Career Services can request modification of your application or additional information before granting approval.
- Post-Internship Requirements
After you have finished your internship, there are a couple of things you must complete before you can receive final notation on your transcript:
- Approval of your final project by your Faculty Supervisor.
- An evaluation letter from your On-Site Supervisor sent to your Faculty Supervisor.
- Completion of the internship survey (link).
During their tenure at Colby, each student must complete three January Terms (Jan Plan), either through coursework, independent study or internships. In order to satisfy Jan Plan credit through an internship, a student must:
- Formally register the internship and receive approval (see Approval Process outlined above)
- Complete approximately 30 hours per week at the job site (100 hours minimum)
- Deliver the academic product previously agreed upon with the Faculty Sponsor (Reflective Journal, Analytical Paper or Creative Project)
- At the conclusion of the internship, arrange for a letter of evaluation to be sent from the on-site supervisor directly to the faculty sponsor.
- Complete the online survey upon completion of the internship.
While Colby is no longer offering academic credit for any internship experience, you will receive transcript notation of your internship experience. Yes, you can receive Jan Plan credit for internships done during the January term.
Many employers are now requiring written documentation from the college that the internship has been formally registered and is under the supervision of a Faculty Sponsor. Upon completion of your internship, you will receive transcript notation showing the dates and the name of the organization of your internship. The transcript notation will only be on your transcript upon final completion of your internship; this includes handing in your final internship project to your Faculty Supervisor, receipt of your on-site supervisor's evaluation, and completion of the internship survey.
Finding an internship involves the same steps as any other employment search. In fact, internship-hunting is a great way to develop and practice skills that you will use throughout your career.
The one distinction that sets an internship search apart from other employment searches is that the primary goal of a successful internship is intended to be a learning experience, designed to broaden awareness of a career field and specific jobs within that field. This means that it is important that a student work with their Faculty Sponsor and the Office of Career Services to help determine the specific learning objectives and desired skills development that are likely to result from a particular internship experience.
As with any job search, whether it is for a part-time job, a summer job, or for a post-graduate position, there are three basic strategies to engage in during an internship search:
Career Services On-line Resources
- Identify resources where internship openings are listed, with details about the responsibilities of the work involved, the desired skills and background of a successful candidate, and the process for applying for the position.
- Identify organizations that are engaged in the type of work you would like to be doing, even if you are uncertain as to whether they use interns, and approach them directly with your qualifications and the type of learning experience you are hoping to find.
- Utilize your network of faculty, friends, relatives and their business associates and ask them for guidance and resources that will lead to the type of internship experience you are hoping to find. Colby alumni are an excellent resource to add to your network (see "Alumni Directory" below).
The Office of Career Services' web site has a variety of on-line resources that relate directly to the basic strategies outlined above. Students should also consider visiting the Office of Career Services in person and meeting with one of the Career Counselors to discuss their overall internship goals and to be introduced to the on-line resources.
- The LACN Database is a collection of internship openings developed by a consortium of 29 liberal arts colleges. The database can be searched using a variety of parameters, including career field and geographic region. These internships include opportunities offered by Colby alumni and friends of the college which were developed specifically for Jan Plan and which are available only to Colby students.
- Spotlight on Careers is a collection of web sites designed to give students an overview of 28 different career fields. Each site provides numerous links to related resources, and several sites provide links which list internship opportunities.
- CareerSearch allows you to research over two million companies and organizations in scores of career fields. You can target your search to find companies in fields related to your interests, and you will find the names and contact information for key people who you can approach directly to inquire about possible internships. Many organizations include links to their web sites, which frequently provide information about their internship programs.
- The Alumni Directory is an on-line database of Colby alumni, who are an excellent source for career guidance and referrals that can ultimately lead to internship opportunities. The use of the Alumni Directory will be greatly enhanced by spending a brief session with a Career Counselor, where you can learn both the techniques for searching the database as well as strategies for how to approach alums for assistance.
A number of funds have been established to assist Colby students in doing both January and summer internships.
For more information, visit Internship FAQ page.