Extern Program

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Photography Extern

For more than 30 years, SIU has provided the Extern Program as a unique professional development experience for students.  To date, more than 4,000 Salukis have worked with companies and organizations around the nation to gain first-hand experience.

A partnership between the Career Development Center and Alumni Association, the Extern Program provides students with professional experience in their chosen career fields. Students are matched with SIU alumni and friends in a variety of careers across the country. They apply skills learned in the classroom in a professional work environment. The program is individualized and enhances the student’s education. Benefits received are invaluable. Not only will students gain real-world career knowledge and experience, they will also expand their career network.  Some students find their externship has led them to find a lifelong mentor, an internship, and even a full-time employment offer.

Externships are unpaid one-week career preparation and exploration experience for current students in their third semester at SIU or be a transfer student (JD and Master’s students may also apply). Each spring, alumni and friends of the university host students at their workplaces and provide job shadowing in a wide variety of career fields. The 2021 Extern Program takes place between May 10 - June 4. Students apply for externship positions based on their major, career interests, and the sponsor-developed description of the experience.

All 2021 Externships will be virtual due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


  • Be in their third semester of undergraduate studies at SIU or a transfer student (Master’s and JD students may also apply)
  • Be enrolled full-time at SIU during the application process and during the externship
  • Complete a profile in the SIU Extern Program Network (link will be made available on September 9, 2019)
  • Submit a Career Development Center approved resume* via the Extern Program Network
  • Complete a screening interview – Time TBD
  • Contact the sponsor prior to the externship
  • Initiate and continue contact with the sponsor prior to the externship
  • Attend the Send-off Ceremony prior to the externship (Date TBD)


  • Have a 2.75 GPA (if you do not meet this, it must be addressed in your cover letter)

* Resumes must be approved by a Career Development Center staff member. Please come in during our walk-in hours of 9am-3pm Monday-Friday or make an appointment with one of our staff members by calling us at 618-453-2391.

Students can apply to the program by completing an application. Applications are open until February 26, 2021.