What is an internship?
Internships (also known as co-operative education or experiential learning) are career-related work experiences that allow students to apply academic knowledge and gain "hands-on experience" in a professional career setting.
What are the benefits of doing an internship?
- Career Exploration – Internships allow students to explore career options within their fields of study.
- Related Work Experience – Internships provide the opportunity for students to gain valuable work experience prior to graduation.
- Academic Credit – Students may earn academic credit for internship experiences.
- Financial Assistance – Students interning with for-profit organizations may be paid for their work.
When should I start exploring internship opportunities? Internships are competitive. Early preparation will improve your chances of securing one. As soon as you come to campus, you should begin to work towards making yourself an exceptional candidate. This includes maintaining a high GPA as well as taking part in other activities and career-related workshops, including résumé writing. Take advantage of faculty/staff resources that can help you develop and fine-tune your résumé. A strong résumé that readily speaks to your strengths will position you to begin searching for potential employers.
Students are encouraged to begin their internship search during their sophomore year.
When should I start applying for internships? The following schedule is the general timeline of when internships are posted both with our online career center and on company sites. However, the earlier you begin searching, the more opportunities you are likely to find.
- Spring Internships - early to mid-fall
- Summer Internships - late fall to mid-spring
- Fall Internships - mid-spring to early fall
Where can I do an internship?
Student internships can occur in the Baltimore/DC area during the academic year, near your home during the summer, abroad, or wherever you choose to apply. Students are expected to arrange their own housing accommodations and/or transportation.
How long and how many hours do I need to commit to an internship?
The duration and hours vary depending on the employer’s needs, the internship position, and the student’s time schedule. Most internships last a minimum of 3 months or a semester. Hours range from 5 to 15 hours per week during the semester and up to 40 hours a week during the summer. More than 15-20 hours per week is not recommended during instruction because it can interfere with a student's primary objective at the University, academic achievement, and academic progress. It is helpful to arrange to work for blocks of time, for example, two or three mornings or afternoons a week.
How much do internships usually pay? The wage rate for internships varies greatly by field and individual organization. There is no set amount that can be expected for all interns. There are also some employers, oftentimes not-for-profit organizations that do not pay student interns. Remember, the primary goal of an internship is to gain valuable experience that will help you get a better sense of the “real-world” and may give you an advantage when you begin to search for jobs after graduation.
Can I receive academic credit for my internship?
Academic credit can be arranged in some situations. Students must take the Internship course to receive academic credit and employers must be willing to document the work and to share said documentation with Capitol Technology University. Furthermore, students must have an appropriate place (ex. usually an open general elective slot) on their course tracking sheet to apply for the credit.
For other questions related specifically to academic credit and registration, contact your Academic Advisor.
Do I need a résumé to apply for internships?
Although this depends on the company, it is reasonable to expect that most companies will require a résumé and/or an application. Some may also require a cover letter. Read notices carefully and follow the instructions accurately. If you need a résumé, the career services office has several samples and a résumé review service to assist you.
Will Capitol Technology University place me in an internship?
Since requirements and deadlines vary a great deal, students are responsible for finding and applying for internships. However, we help in the form of individual advising, internship listings, and informational sessions. You may also attend an internship workshop that offers specific guidance on contacting potential companies. Please review the following resources:
- Search for listings on Capitol’s online Career Center/Job Board which includes the NACElink, to additional postings. It lists a variety of opportunities for students and alumni.
- Check-in with the department that oversees your major. Some departments have internship information such as an office bulletin board where listings are posted. Ask your Program Coordinator or Chair of the department for suggestions.
- Do an internet search for sites that post national or international internship listings.
- Join our LinkedIn Group called “Career Services at Capitol Technology University”.
- Use your personal networks. Contact family, friends, classmates, faculty, advisors, teaching assistants, and neighbors. To broaden your network, join a student organization or volunteer in the community. Here is what you can say when asking about internships:
Sample script: I am hoping to get an internship, so I can explore career options and gain experience before I graduate. My degree program is , and I hope to get an internship doing . Given your background, I wanted to ask if you know anyone who works in this field or who works somewhere that might have internships in the field? If not, I would appreciate you keeping me in mind if you hear of something in the future. I would welcome any suggestions you can provide to help me with my search. Thank you for your time and assistance.
How important is it to get experience by interning while I am in college?
Internships are of great importance for two reasons:
First (and most important), you will not know if your chosen career field is right for you until you have worked in the actual setting and had exposure to people doing the type of work you imagine. Classroom experience and real-world work experience are two very different things. You will make a wiser personal choice by "testing" a career field before graduation, so that you have an accurate picture of the work involved and whether it will be fulfilling for you.
Second, more and more employers are making hiring decisions based on demonstrated career-related experience during the college years. To be competitive in the job market, you should be able to show-- with paying jobs, volunteer positions or internships-- previous exposure to and seriousness about the career field.
How do I find an Internship?
- Start early! Begin your search at least a year before you plan to do an internship.
- Develop your résumé and cover letter and have it reviewed by Career Services.
- Register at Capitol Technology University’s Online Career Center and search the internship postings added by companies seeking interns.
- View resources and opportunities posted on the MyCapitol Career Services Portal.
- Sharpen your interviewing skills by scheduling a mock interview with Career Services.
- Participate in Career Conference, Career Fair, and workshops held throughout the year.
- Network! Let friends, family, current/former employers, and classmates know of your interest in an internship.
- Use various internship focused websites to widen your search.
- Research organization(s) of interest and contact their Human Resource Dept. You could start the phone call by saying, “I’d like to talk with you about the possibility of doing an internship with your organization.”
What should I do after speaking with an employer?
Send “thank you” letters Follow up
What can I do in the interim?
Employers will want to know what you have been doing during and between semesters. Identify the skills you want to strengthen, select, and enroll in industry training and certification programs. These courses can help you build your career foundation.
Search resources information and opportunities at MyCapitol Career Services Portal.
Capitol Technology University has a LinkedIn Group called “Career Services at Capitol Technology University.” You must have a LinkedIn account to access it. This is a ‘closed’ group. You will have to request access to join. You will find other internship opportunities posted under the ‘Discussion’ tab. You’re also encouraged to search employer and postings under the ‘Jobs’ tab. Like Facebook, you can adjust your settings to receive an update each time a new job is posted.
In addition, you can find other groups on LinkedIn for internship opportunities by searching the word internships and selecting “Groups” I the drop-down.
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