There are many details that students should understand when searching for an internship. Here are some basic facts that prospective interns should consider.
When should I start looking for an internship?
It takes time to find the right internship. Students should start doing research about two semesters before they want to start working. Also, students should remember that there is serious competition for internships. It’s best to submit applications early. For a summer internship, for example, it’s not uncommon for applications to be due in November.
Where can I find internships?
Students can find internships in a variety of places. Contact representatives in WVU Career Services or reach out to a faculty member in your program area. The CAHS Office of Student success has career services specialists to help you start your search. There are online resources where students can look for positions—such as Internships.com, Bluefish, and Internships USA. In addition, try contacting specific companies that you are interested in working for to ask about internship opportunities.
Will I be paid for my time at an internship?
Payment for interns depends on the organization offering the positions, the nature of the duties and the skills and experience required for the position. Under certain conditions, federal law mandates that interns receive pay. Check with WVU Career Services for more details. Students may log on to the U.S. Department of Labor’s website for more information on intern pay guidelines.
Will I receive college credit for completing an internship?
Whether or not credit is awarded for an internship is based on class guidelines. Check with WVU Career Services or your academic advisor to find out if an internship qualifies for credit.
How many hours will I need to work at my internship?
Students who are receiving college credits for an internship need to follow established guidelines. Colleges usually require that students work a certain number of hours during the semester to receive credit for the internship. In addition, the faculty internship sponsor may require that students complete additional work—such as keeping a journal or making a presentation—to successfully earn internship credits.
If students are not receiving college credits for their internship, the number of hours worked is based on the agreement made with the employer. Generally, to juggle the responsibilities of coursework and extracurricular activities with the internship, students are advised not to work more than 20 hours per week.
How long do internships last?
The length of an internship is flexible and can be negotiated with an employer. However, generally internships last the course of a semester. Students may get internships that last throughout an entire summer, during winter break.
Can I complete multiple internships?
Completing more than one internship can be beneficial as it increases students’ work experience, as well as their professional network. In addition, completing multiple internships will give students access to more people who can provide letters of recommendation during their job search.
Should I add my internship to my resume?
Although some people think that internships do not count because they are not regular, paying jobs, any work experience that students gain during their time in college is important for future employers for possible hiring consideration. Adding internship experience to a resume is an excellent way for students to showcase how they used their time in college wisely.