By Linda Coutant
What is one of the best ways to get your foot in the door of your chosen career field? An internship – a culminating experience at a work site with a qualified professional mentor. Appalachian State University emphasizes this form of experiential learning because it helps you:
- demonstrate your skills
- expand your competencies
- network among industry professionals
Such opportunities can be crucial in helping you land that first job out of college or get accepted into graduate school.
“This is a chance for students to prove they know and can do what they’ve learned in class,” said Sharon Jensen, associate director of Appalachian’s Career Development Center. “It’s also that important step in learning how to research potential employers, submit a resume and interview for a position before they graduate.”
Some academic majors require an internship. Others encourage one, either in a volunteer capacity or taken for academic credit in which the student benefits from the support of a faculty supervisor. Depending on the site, an internship might offer pay. You can take advantage of Appalachian’s alumni and employer connections in cities like Washington, DC, through the AppState in DC Experience, structured internship programs like the State of North Carolina Internship Program or create your own opportunity.
The Career Development Center will meet with students individually to help identify not only sites that will meet internship requirements but also to help students network with alumni, find housing, and explore funding opportunities. Internships can be domestic or in another country.
Internships increasingly are becoming necessary as employers expect more from new hires and offer less on-the-job training, Jensen said. The most rewarding internships, she added, develop when the host and student choose each other for the best fit.
Below are a few examples of how Appalachian students have found, applied for and succeeded in their internships.
Find an internship
Appalachian’s Career Development Center offers the information you need to get started.
Campus Career Events
From internship fairs to resume clinics, career boot camps and more, Appalachian hosts a variety of events to make you career ready.
Internship is a cross-disciplinary term for a culminating experience in your field with a qualified professional mentor. Some academic disciplines use other terms:
- Field experience
Often associated with social work and other helping professions
Typically associated with the medical professions
- Student teaching
Reserved for teacher preparation
A cross-disciplinary term for mini-internship or pre-internship that may rely more on observation than performance