Extern Program

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A SIU student externs at the Illinois State Museum with a SIU alumni.
A SIU student externs at Mackey Mitchell Architects..
SIU students do an externship at FDH Infrastructure in the St. Louis area. .
A SIU student externs at the Smithsonian Institute with a SIU alumni.
A SIU student externs at Lick Creek Pottery in Lick Creek, Illinois. .

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 various 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. The benefits received are invaluable. Not only will students gain real-world career knowledge and experience, but 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 at least in their third semester at SIU or 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 2023 Extern Program takes place between March 11-19, 2023. Students are matched for externship positions based on their major, career interests, and the sponsor-developed description of the experience.

Sponsor applications are collected in the Summer 2023. Students can apply to the program by completing an application during the Fall 2022 semester. 

2023 Sponsor Application

Want to sponsor a student as an alum, employer, or friend of the university?

We are always looking for new sponsors, as well as welcoming returning sponsors back to our Extern Program! If you are interested, please fill out the following registration survey. You will then be contacted by a member of our Career Development Center staff on how to proceed with the next steps of becoming a sponsor.

If you have any questions about becoming a sponsor or the Extern Program, please contact our office at 618-453-2391 or email us at careerdevelopment@siu.edu.