According to NACE's 2012 Internship and Co-op Survey, employers gave 58.6 percent of their 2011 interns full-time jobs once the internship ended.
In addition to helping you land a job, internships can help you:
- Clarify and fine-tune your career goals.
- Test drive your career—making sure it's really a good fit.
- Become more competitive in the job market, with real-world experience.
- Make connections for your job search.
- Refine your job search, interviewing and resume writing skills.
- Get more out of your classes by combining industry experience and education to ask great questions and focus on the most relevant classes.
- Find a job.
- Earn academic credit.
- Students who have interned typically receive salaries for their first jobs that are 10 percent to 20 percent higher than their non-internship-holding counterparts.
"I love knowing that I’m making a difference. On a professional level, I am getting to participate in all of the components that go into making a non-profit successful—research, financial statements, writing letters. I’m seeing the whole picture instead of just the end product."
-Aspen Matthews, 2013 Internship Award Recipient . Read more about her internship at Save the Manatee on our Career Services Blog!
Finding an internship
Now that you're sold on the idea of an internship, here are some tips for finding and landing one:
- Identify the industry and department you want to intern for. Want to work in marketing? Get an internship with an ad agency, an in-house corporate marketing department or a PR firm. Looking to break into business? Look for internships with the kinds of businesses you respect.
- Search the Pioneer Careers database. At any given time, this database lists hundreds of internships all over the nation.
- Search the UCAN database, an internship portal shared by 22 of the top universities in the nation and home to as many as 10,000 internships each year.
- Run your search through outside job and internship sites.
- Reach out to your contacts. Ask your friends, family, professors and connections if they know of any employers actively seeking interns—and if they know of any companies who might consider an intern. Even if they aren't actively looking, you can always pitch the idea!
- Pitch an internship to your favorite company. If your company of choice doesn't have an internship program, propose one! Some of the best internships are the ones created to fit your specific needs and interests. When you pitch the idea, make sure to emphasize what the organization will gain from hiring a motivated and focused intern like yourself. This demonstrates initiative and you probably won't have any competition for the spot!
The Pioneer Enterprise Program
An Innovative and Engaged Cross-Disciplinary Learning Opportunity. Find out more about this pilot program here.
DU Internships Grants and Awards
If you find a great unpaid internship opportunity, but you can't afford to work without pay, apply for the University Career Center Summer Internship Award Program.
In 2012, The University Career Center selected eight promising undergraduates and awarded them $2,500 grants for working 200 hours or more at an unpaid internship that summer. And we'll pick eight more for summer 2013.
The Divisions of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences also has an internship grant program. Daniels College of Business undergraduates should contact the Taylor Center for internship funding information.
"Don’t be afraid to look for what you really want to do. My biggest fear in life is settling. So many students settle and take what they can get. Doing what you love to do is priceless. Make it happen and it’s totally worth it."
- Erin Husi, 2013 Internship Award Recipient . Read more about her internship at Sprout City Farms on our Career Services Blog!