Internships are a form of experiential learning that integrate knowledge and theory learned in the classroom with practical application and skills development in a professional setting.
Internships vary greatly from one organization to the next: interns typically can work in a paid or unpaid capacity, with or without academic credit, and for a varied amount of time (one to twelve months). As an intern you can gain valuable hands-on experience, while evaluating your interests and planning your career goals.
Clarify your goals, priorities, and objectives. Are you willing to take an unpaid internship for the experience? What experiences are you seeking? If you have no prior experience, an unpaid internship may lead to paid experiences in the future. Just determine whether pay is expected in your field.
Use your network. Let people know you are seeking an intern experience, and be specific about what you’re searching for. Talk to friends who already have internships and ask what methods they used and found successful. Proactively use social media tools (see Your Online Image) to find opportunities.
HireMizzouTigers.com (powered by Handshake): Login to access hundreds of internship listings from companies and non-profits across the country.
Career Tools: Click the Career Tools button to access numerous internship sites and databases.
Academic Departments: Many departments frequently share advertisements for intern positions. Some employers will notify specific faculty or staff members about internships, especially if they are seeking particular majors or skill sets.
Explore professional organizations: Campus “branches” of professional organizations in your field (e.g., Society for Human Resource Management) can put you in contact with unadvertised positions.
Utilize Chambers of Commerce. They generally maintain online, searchable lists of companies that can help you identify good leads for possible internship opportunities.
Create your own opportunities: Research organizations where you are interested in interning, whether or not they are known to have a formal internship program. Although many large employers have more established programs, small organizations can offer wonderful experiences as well.