Internships

for Students

Experience matters

Doing an internship is one of the best ways to, not only gain professional experience in an organization or industry, but to learn more about yourself; what you like and don’t like, and can help you find what truly interests you and what could turn into a career. Internships are experiences which help you to design your future.

Internships can truly enhance students’ education and overall college experience by expanding skill sets, connecting with others and exposure to real-world situations. It is no longer a question of whether or not a student should do an internship during their college careers, but rather how many and where. Students of all majors at WOU are encouraged to engage with their communities (WOU, Monmouth/Independence and surrounding areas, and wherever else they may call home) in a variety of ways: internships, research, volunteering, etc.

Get Experience

Off-Campus Internships

Gain Real-World Experience

WOU partners with many businesses/organizations in the Monmouth/Independence and surrounding areas to offer real-world, professional experiences for students of all majors. Some degrees require an internship or practicum but it is a clear consensus that internships are a great idea for any student looking to gain more experience, make connections, or expand on their education.

On-Campus Internships

Our Community is Your Classroom

Our campus is home to a variety of internship opportunities. On-campus internships are convenient and flexible in working around your class schedule while still gaining professional experience. Consider applying for the WOU Community Internship Program (WOU CIP) during the fall term to complete and on-campus internship during Winter/Spring.

Micro-Internships

Experiences of all Shapes and Sizes

Micro-internships are short-term, project-based internships, typically remote, which offer students a whole new way to gain experience and make money doing so. Projects vary depending on the business’ needs but can range from marketing, to report building and lead generation. Organizations like Parker Dewey are excellent resources for such opportunities.

What is an Internship?

An internship is a short term (typically 3 to 9 months) opportunity within a given department, organization, or business, which is designed for students and recent graduates to gain work experience and skills they wouldn’t typically gain in a classroom setting. These experiences could be paid or unpaid, depending on the organization and nature of work being completed and are typically part-time (anywhere from 5-20 hours per week) although summer internships and co-ops can be closer to full-time commitment. 

    Why Intern?

    • 9 out of 10 employers say they look for new grads with internship experience
    • Just over 70% of employers end up offering their interns full-time jobs. Almost 80% of students accept these offers.
      (National Association of Colleges and Employers)
    • According to 34% of college graduates, doing an internship has significantly impacted career directions and employment opportunities.
      (National Association of Colleges and Employers)
    • At least 60% of students in each graduating class since 2013 completed an internship and/or co-op during their time in college.
      (National Association of Colleges and Employers)

      Internship vs. Part-Time Job: What’s the Difference?

      What makes internships unique is the focus on student learning. This is an opportunity for you, as the student, to apply skills learned in the classroom or elsewhere, that tie to your academic, career and/or personal goals. While the you might perform some roles that are not for your learning, the goal is for you to explore and practice your professional identity under supervision and with mentoring.

      For example: say you want to apply your writing skills and learn professionalism by writing press releases for a department. The expectation of the employer/supervisor is that you will need some coaching and guidance and you are not expected to accomplish the task perfectly on the first try. With feedback from your mentor/supervisor, however, the final output will be more professional, well written and allow you to offer a fresh, student oriented perspective that relates to the business’ audience.

      Internships for Academic Credit

      Policies and procedures regarding internships for credit, are somewhat unique to each academic department at WOU. Most programs have a designated course of 1-12 available upper-division credits. The program or designated faculty member stipulates prerequisites as well as a process for creating learning outcomes, reflection and supervision. Here is a list of internship courses by major, available to WOU students. 

      In order for an internship or an experiential learning activity to be eligible for academic credit, several individuals must work together: the student, faculty advisor, and the site supervisor. Below you will find general guidelines helpful in getting started.

      Preparing for an Internship Search

      Step 1: Know yourself

      • What personal strengths, skills, interests, and values do I have?
      • Make a list of possible job titles and fields of interest to you
      • Pick two or three careers you plan to pursue

      Step 2: Know where you want to work/intern

      • Research organizations or companies that might hire someone with your skills, interests, and background
      • Pay close attention to desired qualifications in these fields and know what employers are looking for
      • Make a list of 10 (or more) potential employers for these types of work and where they are located

      Step 3: Get ready to search

      • Build your resume and cover letter and have them reviewed by a professional in the field or an CPP staff member
      • Prepare a portfolio or work samples to highlight your experiences, skills, and talents
      • Develop your “30-second speech” which briefly tells someone who you are, what you bring to the table, and why you want to work/intern in this field
      • Confirm at least three individuals who will serve as a reference for you
      • Practice and develop your interview skills – answer common interview questions and complete a mock interview with CPP
      • Have proper interview attire for the field you plan to work in
      • Make sure your voicemail is set-up with a professional-sounding voicemail recording
      • Create/update your LinkedIn profile

      Step 4: Start searching

      • Update your profile on WolfLink/Handshake and upload your resume
      • Check Handshake regularly for internship opportunities and review emails/opportunities sent via email by both CPP and your department/major
      • Keep track of your contacts, interviews, and internships you apply for
      • Create a list of potential networking contacts and stay in touch (LinkedIn)
      • Follow-up on opportunities you apply for with a phone call to express your interest and excitement
      • Send Thank You letters or emails to every person who interviews you

      WOU Community Internship Program (WOU CiP)

      The WOU Community Internship Program (WOU CiP) provides access to academically and career relevant paid on-campus internship opportunities for Western students. WOU students are able to gain invaluable internship experiences that facilitate professional development and integration of classroom knowledge. 

      To learn more about eligibility requirements and the application process visit our WOU CiP page.

       

      Internship Fund

      Through generous donations by benefactors on and off campus, WOU has funding available for students scheduled to participate in internships. This funding program is intended to alleviate the costs incurred by a student as a result of participating in an internship crucial to their career success.

      Requests have included support to purchase professional clothing/shoes and transportation/gas. Awards have ranged from $50 – $400 dollars.

      To learn more about eligibility requirements and the application process visit our Internship Fund page.

      Contact Us

      pathways@wou.edu
      503-838-8432

      Justin Sunada
      Assistant Director | Internship Coordinator
      sunadaj@wou.edu
      503-838-8041

      Or stop by between 9am-5pm Monday-Friday – Werner University Center 119

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