Why participate in an internship?
Student benefits include:
- Gain professional experience while in school
- Sample specific jobs within career areas
- Make valuable contacts for future networking
- Sample different working environments (work setting, type of employer, or industry, geographic location)
- Gain insight into real-world application of concepts learned in school
- Develop self-confidence and independence
- Earn money
- Earn college credit
Read how these students experienced internships
What is an internship?
An internship is an opportunity offered by companies to work for a fixed time to gain experience in that field of study. Usually, internships are part-time and go around your college schedule and full-time during breaks and vacations. An internship allows you to gain practice skills within the workplace and to obtain knowledge and connections that you wouldn't receive in the classroom. Internships go above and beyond the learning in the classroom to give you hands-on experience and apply what you have learned with mentors set up to advise you. Mostly internships have become voluntary (unpaid) because employers know students need these experiences to build their resumes to become more competitive when applying for jobs. Internships no matter paid or unpaid are very beneficial.
How do I get an internship?
Students usually complete an internship during their junior and/or senior year. First, visit the Office of Career Studio or your advisor to talk about internship opportunities, how to obtain an internship, how to write a résumé and cover letter, and how to prepare for the interviewing process.
Internship students gain personal growth with hands-on experience.
The Career Studio is located in the Academic Center in Alfond Hall. Call 893-7558 or 893-7575 to set up a time to come in, or you can also just drop in.
Do I earn credits for my internship?
Most students complete internships for credit and experience. Only a few internships are paid in addition to credits. As an intern, you will enroll in a four-credit course called Business Internship Program (BU 404).
How long do internships last?
They are usually a semester long: September-December, January-May, or May-August; although a few last a year.
Where can I work as an intern?
Saint Joseph's College has many connections in the Greater Portland area with businesses and organizations. Some typical intern placements include: AARP, American Red Cross, Baker Newman Noyes, CPA, Berry Dunn McNeil & Parker, CPA, Burgess Advertising, Edward Jones Investments, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Giraffe Events, Green Tree Marketing, Hannaford Supermarkets, Idexx Laboratories, Lake Region Animal Hospital, Lakes Region Weekly, Maine Medical Center, Maine International Trade Center, Maine State Government, Portland Magazine, Portland Pirates, Portland Police Department, Portland Radio Group, Portland Sea Dogs, Portland Water District, Red Claws, Sweetser, The Northern Light Mercy Hospital, Tripswithpets.com, Unum, WGME 13, Windham Parks & Recreation, Wolfe Public Relations, and many more.
Can I do an internship on campus?
Yes, the following departments have sponsored interns: Athletic Department, Saint Joseph's College Online, Information Systems, Intramurals & Recreation, Brand Studio, and Sports Information.
What are employers required to provide?
- Written job description or a simple list of duties/responsibilities
- Appropriate learning environment where the intern may apply their college studies in an experiential learning setting
- Specific point person that the intern can refer questions to
- Schedule allowing students to work (at minimum) 150 hours over 15 weeks so they may receive academic credit
- Internship evaluation form at the conclusion of the internship
What are the student's responsibilities as an intern?
- Treat internship position as a professional job
- Satisfy academic requirements of internship course
- Must notify employer beforehand if they cannot report to work at scheduled times
- Must provide own transportation
What does Career Studio provide?
- Promote internship opportunities to students
- Refer students to sponsoring employers
- Provide résumé and interviewing skills assistance
- Coordinate the academic component of the internship
10 reasons why internships are important
1. Applying your education to your given career field
- Being able to apply what you are learning in the classroom to the real world is key to landing a job in the future. Being able to develop and practice these skills before applying for a full-time job will make you a better candidate.
2. Building your résumé and experience
- Most full-times will not hire graduates that have no experience in the given field because you appear risky. You haven’t gained experience in this career field and do not have the skills developed that those from an internship would. Having an internship on your resumes shows that you gained experience in the field you wanted to pursue after graduation. You know what to expect in this field and have developed skills and confidence from your experience.
3. Figuring out if you like that career
- Knowing if you like the career you are intending to go into after graduation is key. Instead of getting a job and having to start all over. An internship gives you a glimpse into that career to help you figure out if its still in.
4. Being able to make mistakes
- Making mistakes as an employee can sometimes cost you your job but, as an intern, the company knows you are there to learn. Interns are there to gain experience and skills and your mentor is there to help you and to help you fix those mistakes you make. As an intern myself, I can’t tell you how many mistakes I made in the lab but my mentor helped me through each mistake and showed me how to fix it and not do it again.
5. Build professionalism
- Know how to act in different career settings.
6. Build your résumé
- More often than not graduates with internships will get hired over those that do not because they show they have gained the skills and experience to be able to handle the job. Internships show future employers that you took the time to learn the skills needed to complete the job and were mentored while learning these skills.
7. Exploring the field
- Many times during internships you get to see more than one position. For instance, as an intern in the hospitals, I was able to shadow other positions to see where I saw myself working in the future.
8. Time Management
- Learning how to manage your time in a business setting. You get to learn about how long each task takes to complete and how much time you are given for that task by your boss. Also, balancing your internship with the school will help your time management skills between your internship, classes, and homework.
- An internship allows you to make connections to many people within the company. Making a good impression with these employers opens many doors for yourself to get hired there in the future. These same people could also help you land your next job or help you get into graduate school by writing letters of recommendation. Networking is key! It connections people and opens many doors. If an employer likes you and his friend in a different company is hiring he may mention your name!
10. Internships can turn into jobs
- After your internships are complete sometimes these companies like you so much and the work you have done for them that they offer you a job. It is always important to do your best work and impress those around you! Jobs are always opening up or being created and you could be the next one to land that job!
Where can I look for internships online?
Internships are the new thing for companies to get students in the door to become possible future employees. There are many sites where internships are listed! If you do not see a certain company that you are very interested in it never hurts to contact them and ask about opportunities they are offering. A job shadow could also turn into an internship