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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 gaining 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.
Why do an Internship?
There are numerous reasons why internships are important. It’s a great way to explore possible career paths, and it helps students develop relevant skills and experience that employers want in their future employees. Many career experts say that the internship is the new entry-level job.
When to do an internship:
Summer: Summer internships are the most popular, and offer a few months to work with a company and get a broad experience. Often companies will structure summer internships to move the intern around from department to department to get a broader overview of the company. Other summer programs are used as vetting grounds for future full-time hires.
JanPlan: Students are able to get JanPlan credit for an internship, and although shorter than a summer internship, January internships allow a student to get a deep experience in a particular area. Employers typically structure January internships to center around specific projects and real tasks for the student to complete, given the short time she or he will be working there. The Career Center works year-round to secure JanPlan internships, but many students also find their own through family, alumni and faculty contacts. This is a great time to “build-your-own-experience” with an employer, and tailor an internship that will give you the skills and experience you are looking for.
In-Semester: Semester internships are less common than JanPlan and Summer, but still a great time for a student to get low-impact exposure with a company or in a particular industry. Since students must be in Waterville to take classes, the options for in-semester internships are limited, but many local businesses seek out students for assistance with projects. This is a great opportunity to gain some exposure to the Waterville community, and see what Maine businesses are doing.
Often students struggle to decide what career path they want to pursue after graduation. While this is a normal part of career development, students who complete internships tend to have an easier time deciding on a career path because they have gained a first-hand look into a career field of interest. Internships provide students with the opportunity to practice networking skills and build confidence in the job search process.
Internships provide the opportunity for students to apply their skills and knowledge in a professional work environment, which will further develop their competencies. Students who complete internships find it easier to gain employment or entry into graduate school after graduation.
Questions about internships?
We’re here to help you through the entire process of finding an internship including exploring options, pursuing opportunities and how to get credit and funding. Schedule an Appointment: Login to Handshake to find a time that works for you (go to ‘Calendar’ then click ‘Counseling Appointment’)
Office Hours: 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Eustis Building, Room 107
4140 Mayflower Hill
Waterville, ME 04901
For quick questions that do not require an appointment, contact: