An internship is a part-time or full-time job during the academic year or the summer months in which you receive supervised, practical training in your field of study.
Internships are usually related to your academic and career goals and may serve as a precursor to professional employment.
Some internships feature very close supervision by a mentor in an apprenticeship-like relationship.
You will perform work for the internship site just as a regular employee would, although generally with closer supervision. And, just like an employee, you should report on time and as scheduled, taking your duties and assignments seriously.
Why Are Internships Important?
You can get real experience in your field of study. How often do you see job advertisements seeking someone "with experience?" An internship is a great way to get that experience.
You'll develop professional skills and work habits in your field and that is what employers are looking for.
You'll have the opportunity to start developing professional contacts and begin networking.
It gives you an up-close look at a professional work setting, showing you what your daily work environment could be. Internships can also help you decide if this is really what you want to do or even if some other related area in the same business is more appealing to you. This allows you to modify your plans and studies if you realize this isn't the setting for you.
If You Are Considering an Internship
At least one semester before you plan to intern, get in touch with your academic advisor and/or the internship coordinator for your major to make sure you meet your department's internship requirements.
Determine what is specifically required of you and your employer. You need to find out:
What are the academic and registration requirements?
Can I get credit for the internship and/or use it as a substitute for another course?
How will my employer submit my performance/job evaluation?
Do I have to write a final paper, keep a log, etc.? Don't let this possibility dissuade you. It’s usually not a big deal.
Getting Academic Credit for an Internship
Most departments/majors at SIU Carbondale allow students to receive academic credit for internships but each department sets specific guidelines and policies for its students. You may be able to substitute an internship for an elective or required course. Some departments require you to meet specific criteria to receive academic credit for internships. These criteria may include having a specified GPA, obtaining a certain class status (sophomore or junior, for instance), having already completed some fundamental courses in the major, or other similar requirements.
If you are considering an internship for academic credit, there will be a few forms to fill out and procedures to follow. But, if you follow the policies for your major/department, everything will fall into place.
You can start your internship search in Handshake.