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Frequently Asked Questions

Internships Defined | Find An Internship | 2018 Summer Internships | Paid vs. Unpaid Internships |
Frequently Asked Questions | Where K Students Have Interned

Why should I do an internship?

  • Improve your chances of getting hired: 25 percent of employers surveyed indicated that their new college hires come from within the organization’s internship program.
  • Gain valuable experience: 55 percent of responding employers indicate that new college hires have previous internship experience.
  • Earn a higher salary: 64 percent of the employers say they pay new full-time hires with internship experience an average of 8.9 percent more than their inexperienced counterparts.
  • Source: National Association of Colleges and Employers Job Outlook Survey

What makes for a great internship?

Students who have had great internships often talk about the importance of:

  • A strong relationship with a supervisor: A good internship allows you to work with a supervisor who will provide you with direction and support, and spend time mentoring you.
  • Learning: During an internship, you will learn much about an organization through direct experience. Other staff members can share their perspective to help you to understand more about roles and activities.
  • Goals: Commit to some personal learning goals that you hope to fulfill during your internship. Talk about them with your internship supervisor. Check in with your supervisor periodically to check your progress. After the internship, take some time to reflect on what you learned.
  • Flexibility and creativity: Think about how an organization can use utilize your existing skills. What new skills could be gained by interning at this organization? Although some of the tasks you are asked to perform may be mundane, your time there will allow you to learn more about the field of work while building your skills.
  • Self-discovery: Use the internship to learn more about yourself. Do I like to work alone or in a group? Do I prefer more formal settings or less formal? Is it important to me that my colleagues share my personal values? Do I prefer working in larger or smaller organizations?

When should I start looking for an internship?

Internship hiring timelines vary by industry, so get to know the timeline for your target industry. In general, the more structured the internship, the more in advance the organization will hire. See the table below for some examples of recruiting timelines and target industries.

General Recruiting Timelines for Summer Internships for Select Industries

8 - 10 months in Advance

(Late Summer/early Fall)

4 – 6 months in Advance

(Winter/Spring)

Consulting Firms

For-profit Businesses

Large Media Companies

Financial Services

International Organizations

Federal Government

Non-profit Organizations

Research Institutes

Educational Institutions

Arts Organizations

Environmental Organizations

State and Local Government

Another important date to remember is the application deadline for CCPD Stipend internship funding (if your internship is unpaid).

Can I get credit for an internship?

Kalamazoo College does not grant academic credit for internships. To receive credit for a similar experience during the academic year, a student would have to arrange for an independent study directly with a faculty member. The CCPD would not be involved with this type of arrangement.

Can I get a paid internship?

Internships can be paid or unpaid. The employer determines what, if any, compensation an intern would receive. Many organizations, particularly non-profit organizations, do not have the funding to pay interns.

What’s the difference between an internship and an externship?

 

Internships

Externships

Objective

Provides direct experience to connect career and academic interests

Provides direct experience to connect career and academic interests

Activity

Maximize participation with ongoing observation; enhance existing skills and abilities and discover new skills and abilities

Maximize observation, with some opportunity for participation, usually in the form of a shorter‐term, focused project

Reflection

Involve learning goals and reflections

Involve learning goals and reflections

Supervision

Provide close supervision with frequent formal interactions between supervisor and intern

Provide close supervision with frequent formal interaction between supervisor and extern

Length

Longer‐term

(6–12 weeks;
at least 192 hours)

Shorter term

(1-3 weeks)

Timing

Occur over the summer

Occur over the summer

Compensation

May be paid or unpaid

Unpaid

Who should I talk to about setting up an internship?

The Center for Career and Professional Development! CA's (Student Career Associates) can help you with basic questions about how to find internships and get your application materials (résumé, cover letter, etc.) ready. Career coaching staff is available to you by appointment or during walk-in hours. Book appointments online through Handshake.

What resources are available to find an internship?

Check out the "Find an Internship" page for strategies and resources.

Is housing available for internships?

Summer Internship Housing at K: If you would like to live on campus during the summer as you intern, Residence Life does offer housing on campus to K students in the summer for a fee. Check with Residence Life for application information.

Internship Housing Beyond K: Start by checking with friends and family nearby your internship site. K alumni can also be a great resource to suggest options in cities where you do not have any connections. Check the Alumni Directory or LinkedIn's Alumni Tool.