What is an internship?

Internships are work experiences that afford students the opportunity to apply academic knowledge in a “world of work” setting.  They can be paid or unpaid, for credit or non-credit, in the New York metropolitan area or half way around the world.  While most students choose to intern in the summer, some will also take advantage of local opportunities during the academic year.

Internships offer students a tremendous amount of self and career exploration.  Some students leave their experiences with a more focused career goal while others realize their initial thoughts of a given profession are not what they expected.  Either way, internships are valuable learning experiences and students are encouraged to engage themselves in this type of opportunity early in their college careers.

Think skill sets!  Internships help students build and refine a variety of important and lasting skills that ease their transition into the workplace:  organization, time management, customer service and business etiquette.  Students also gain more defined skills that are directly related to a specific professional industry, including policies and procedures, industry terminology, and management techniques.

If you are interested in obtaining academic credit for your experience, you must work with your academic department.

Who participates in internships?

All students are encouraged to engage themselves in some type of experiential learning during their academic career.  Freshman, sophomores, juniors and seniors can all benefit from an internship opportunity.   Employer’s everyday are seeking graduates who have had an internship or significant shadowing experience.  Those with applied knowledge and skills set themselves apart from other applicants.
As you do your research, you may encounter companies that only offer internships to upperclassman.  Don’t let this deter you from your search as there are many opportunities available to you regardless of your year in school.

Identifying Places of Interest

Your internship possibilities are endless as you may soon realize.  Take the time to assess yourself and consider the following questions before you begin researching potential opportunities:
  • What kind of experience are you looking for?  One that will allow you to float during your experience and learn about the organization or profession as a whole or something more specialized?
  • Do you want to intern with a national or international company or a company that is more localized?
  • Do you want to travel to another location such as your hometown or elsewhere?*
  • Do you need to get paid?  Do you want to earn credit?
  • What are the listed expectations of the companies you are interested in?  Do they require you to work 40 hours per week, travel, keep a daily or weekly log of activities, make presentations, etc?

Finding Internships

You’ve asked yourself those important questions and now have a better idea of the type of opportunity you are looking for.  Now check out our Resources webpage, in addition to the internships available on Career Connections.
  • Network Network Network! – According to an Intern Bridge Inc. survey of more than 12,000 students, this was the #1 way to find an internship.
  • You’ve Accepted an Internship – Now What?
  • Congratulations on your internship!  We are so pleased that you’ve found an opportunity that is helping you explore your possible career interests.  As you prepare for your experience, take some time to write down the following:
  • Internship Learning Objectives – Brainstorm three or four specific things you want to learn during your experience.  At the conclusion of your internship, bring these objectives back out and write down what you’ve accomplished.  This is what you will record on your resume.
  • Transferable Skills – More often than not, students focus more on the title and job description of the internship and not paying attention to the additional skills that will be acquired.  Remember to think in terms of transferable skills, skills that will allow you to do any job, anywhere at any time.  These types of skills include organization, customer service, time management, leadership, business and phone etiquette, networking and much more.
Finally, before embarking on your experience, be sure to let The Office of Career Counseling and Services know what your plans are.
Just call 646-378-3970, email career@nyack.edu, or stop by to fill us in on the good news!