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.
Please note: astronautical engineering students are asked to coordinate with Professor Alex Antunes for internship opportunities.
What are the benefits of doing an internship?
- Career Exploration – Internships allow students to explore career options within their field 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 their internship experience.
- 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 chance of securing one. As soon as you arrive to campus, you should begin to work towards making yourself an exceptional candidate. This includes maintaining a high GPA and participating in career-related workshops and events. Take advantage of faculty/staff resources that can help you develop and fine tune your resume. A strong resume that readily speaks to your strengths will position you to begin searching for potential employers. 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 may occur in the Baltimore/DC area during the academic year, near your home during the summer, abroad, or wherever you choose to apply. Unless otherwise specified by the employer, you are expected to arrange your 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 average 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 the academic year as this could interfere with your primary objective of academic progress. It's 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 pay rate for internships varies greatly by field and individual organization or company. There is no set amount that can be expected for all interns. There are also some employers, such as 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. Employers must be willing to document the work and to share the documentation with Capitol College. Furthermore, you must have an appropriate place on your course tracking sheet to apply the credit.
For other questions related specifically to academic credit and registration, contact Ken Crockett x3026.
Do I need a resume to apply for internships?
Search for listings in Capitol Technology University’s Online Career Center Symplicity , database. It lists a variety of opportunities for students and alumni.
Check in with the department that oversees your major. Some departments have newsletters or e-mails that provide internship information. Or they may have an office bulletin board where listings are posted. Ask someone at the department for suggestions.
Do an internet search for sites that post national or international internship listings. Also 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's what you can say when asking about internships:
Sample script: I'm hoping to get an internship soon, so I can explore career options and gain experience before I graduate. My degree program is ____, and I hope to get an internship doing ____. Do you know anyone who works in this field or who works somewhere that might have internships in that field? Or can you think of any other ways I might find an internship? If not and you hear of something later, I'd appreciate you keeping me in mind.
How important is it to get experience by interning while I am in college?
Internships are of great importance for two reasons:
First (and probably 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. In order 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.