Internships

Internships are a great way to explore your professional interests and gain insight that may lead to a surprising new path! An internship can help you gain confidence in work place settings; build a network of mentors; hone new skills, and continue to learn about yourself and your interests.

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Internships help translate theory into practice and get your foot in the door. While seeing your lecture come to life on the legislative floor is exciting, and securing a job as a result of a previous internship experience is fabulous, we know — and our students discover — that an internship provides so much more than that. Inevitably, internships help our students fully understand themselves and grow academically, professionally and personally.

Students complete internships for a variety of reasons:

  • to remain competitive in the job market
  • to determine their interest or skill level in a field
  • for the opportunity to work with the leaders of their field, or to have a more meaningful experience than a typical part-time or seasonal job.
  • many graduate schools also look very favorably on candidates who have significant practical experience that supports their academic focus. Some graduate programs, such as counseling or business, will only consider candidates who have "real-life" work experience as demonstrated by professional positions or a series of internships.

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When to Search

Students should complete up to 2-3 internships during their career at Lawrence. Some students consider pursuing internships as early as the summer of their freshman year, but there is no "right" time. Internship requirements and qualifications vary- some will be a great fit for students simply looking to explore a field while others may require more advanced previous experience or skills. Internship deadlines vary based on the field and company/organization, however more and more internship programs are starting to recruit and accept applications as early as fall term for the following summer. Large corporations and those with competitive programs often recruit in the fall, whereas nonprofits, smaller organizations or those with few interns may recruit into the winter and spring for summer interns. It is recommended that students begin searching early!

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Getting Started

As we think about when is the best time to search, it’s hard to know how long it will take to “prepare” the necessary materials to apply. Below is a checklist to make it easier for you to time out when to start your internship search process.
Step 1: Know Yourself

  • Explore the Career Communities!
  • Make a list of fields or topics of interest
  • List any dream organizations, careers or future jobs you might want to do.
  • Evaluate some of the things you have done in the past – what you/have not enjoyed?
  • Evaluate what you want to get from the experience (skill gaps to fill) or things you’d like to practice or do in an internship.
  • Decide what you would like from your internship. Responsibilities? Compensation? Experience?
  • Define where you would like to do your internship. City? Corporation? Industry?
  • Identify alumni or resources to learn more about your interest areas.
  • Conduct an informational interview or research via databases to evaluate career fields.

Step 2: Searching and Applying for Internships

  • Talk with an advisor to find out what internship resources are available.
  • Participate in on campus events.
  • Learn resume writing basics and develop a master resume.
  • Learn cover letter writing basics.
  • Create a LinkedIn profile and begin networking with people you know.
  • Start researching internship opportunities. Obtain general information and track this information in an excel document. (Name of organization (Website link if helpful), Position/Title Name, Location, Needed materials to submit, Contact information, Application due date, Date submitted & Follow up date).
    • Be sure to check out the Career Communities for some ideas!
    • Log into Lawrence Link and browse jobs or internships that interest you and match your skills and values.
  • Collect information for the job description.
  • Tailor your resume and have it checked by the CLC.
  • Craft a cover letter specific to the job.
  • Clean up any social media platforms – Google yourself and check your privacy settings!

Step 3: Interviewing

  • Complete an application for each company where you would like to intern.
  • Practice your interviewing skills. Schedule a mock interview with career services.
  • Craft your elevator speech for employers.
  • Research the company in depth to prepare for your interview.
  • Interview with employers.
  • Send a thank-you letter to each employer who gives you an opportunity to interview.
  • Accept an internship offer.

Finding an Internship

Internship Search Methods
Each student's internship search will be different, so we would love the opportunity to discuss your search with you. Everyone is at a unique place in their career development and there may be other questions to answer or steps to take prior to the internship search. For this reason we encourage you to make an appointment so we can help to assess how we can best support you and provide resources for your individualized internship search.

Schedule an appointment here. 

If you are eager to start exploring options, below are several general internship resources:

Internships While Studying Abroad

Internship Program

Looking to make the most out of your internship experience?

Lawrence strongly encourages students to participate in experiential learning opportunities including internships. Internships should:

  • support career exploration and be geared towards a student's career interests
  • include intentional learning goals and allow for feedback and reflection
  • provide learning through the supervision by someone in the field with more expertise than the student

The CLC encourages all student interns to participate in our Internship Program to best support their experience. Students can hold internships any time during the academic year as well as over the summer. To best support our students during the internship process we have designed an internship program facilitated by the Assistant Director of the CLC – Internships.

Student participation includes:
  • Attending an internship orientation
  • Registering their internship.
  • Identifying learning goals.
  • Reviewing their final performance evaluation with you.
  • Completing an internship reflection.
  • Updating their resume with their new experience.

 

Academic Credit & Work Authorization

Academic Credit for Internships
Academic internships provide students an opportunity to apply what they have learned in the classroom and to bring back to the classroom an enriched perspective on their learning. Students in academic internships engage in unpaid or paid work or service experiences with intentional learning objectives that relate to their academic interests and promote reflection throughout the experience.

The academic component includes readings related to the substance of the internship, discussions with the faculty supervisor, and a written report appropriate to the discipline. For departments that do not offer an academic internship (course number 395, 595, or 695), a student may apply for an academic internship to the Instruction Committee by reading period of the term before the start of the internship. 

Students may take a maximum of 12 units of academic internship in fulfillment of their degree requirements, and it is recommended that internships not integral to the major be graded S/U only.

To earn credit, a student must:

  • develop a plan with a faculty supervisor, usually including readings and a substantive paper, project or presentation in connection with the experiential learning provided by the internship.
  • register the same way they would register for directed study, tutorials, or independent study. Students can review the course catalog to determine if a particular major has an existing internship course credit.

Students completing internships during the summer who would like to receive academic credit will need to plan ahead with their faculty supervisor to receive the credit in the Fall Term following their internship experience. Arrangements and discussions with your faculty supervisor should be made prior to the internship starting. It is not required that students receive academic credit for internships. Students receiving academic credit are also encouraged to participate in the Internship Program.

Work Authorization & Internships
While international students with F-1 status are generally not able to work off-campus, students are eligible to volunteer off campus, or with proper authorization from ISS, are eligible to pursue paid and unpaid internship opportunities. Students may be authorized for internships working up to 20 hours/week during the academic year and up to 40 hours/week during breaks. If you are interested in a paid/unpaid internship or long-term volunteer opportunity, you should make an appointment in the ISS Office to discuss your options and the authorization process.

Regarding internships, the most common work authorization is called “Curricular Practical Training” or CPT (for students in F-1 status).  Students must have completed at least one academic year before they are eligible for work authorization. Students with CPT should participate in the internship program as well, but must also report their internship via International Student Services.

Questions about CPT should be directed to the Director of International Student Services.

Facts about CPT and Internships can be found here along with instructions and required forms.

Funding

In collaboration with other campus offices, we offer the Summer Experiential Learning Fund, to provide funding for experiential learning opportunities, such as internships. Applications are available winter term and are due spring term. Visit the website above for more information or find a detailed description of funds on the Career Community pages. 

The CLC does occasionally have other funds to support students' career exploration, including internships. Students can contact the office at careerservices@lawrence.edu to inquire about funding available, and if funds exist you will be provided an application to apply for consideration.

Housing

Housing is not often offered by an internship site. Students should consider housing costs and options during their search. Students interning in the Appleton area over the summer are eligible to live on campus. Summer housing meetings are held winter term and students can receive applications for summer housing from Campus Life. A staff member from the CLC can sign off on campus housing once a student has registered for the internship program and confirmed they will be interning at least 10 hours/week.

If you are not interning in Appleton and seeking housing below is a list of considerations to keep in mind.

  • Communicate with friends and the CLC to identify other students who you might room with or alumni who may be of assistance.
  • Identify local universities and search their websites for information regarding summer housing for non-student interns.
  • Ask for recommendations from your new employer or supervisor. They might also have information on what other interns within the company are planning.
  • Exercise caution when searching on subleasing sites, social media and other housing platforms. If you'd like assistance, please set up an appointment with an advisor in the CLC. 

December Externships

Externships can vary in length but typically are between 3 days and 2 weeks and occur most often during December term for Lawrence students.

What is the purpose of the externship?
The primary purpose of the program is provide students with opportunities to explore the world of work including:
- Clarify their career interests an industries.
- Cultivate relationships with mentors and learn from their experiences.
- Connect coursework to outside the classroom and future career plans.


How does the program work?
 Students can apply to multiple sites if they choose. Employers can then interview and review applications of interested students. Participating students will attend an orientation prior to their departure with the Assistant Director for Internships in the CLC. Upon their return, students will then have a post-externship meeting to reflect upon their experience and how it has informed their career plans.

Who can apply?
The externship program is open to any current students.

How do I apply? 
Students can submit an application on Lawrence Link by searching for "December Externship" in the job search function. 
 

Resources for Employers

If you are looking to hire a Lawrentian please feel free to contact Mandy Netzel, the Assistant Director of Employer and Alumni Relations. We can help you to learn more about posting opportunities and recruiting students, as well as our internship program and how we can support you as a supervisor.

A strong internship includes:

  • A detailed posting in order to find candidates that are the right fit for your organization.
  • Time spent discussing the goals for the internship as well as student learning goals (Our internship program will provide the student with a learning agreement).
  • Clear expectations set and shared with the intern.
  • Established time for student to meet with supervisor to check progress and provide feedback (Our internship program will provide final evaluations for the student and supervisor).
  • Communication with the intern and if necessary CLC staff if any questions or concerns arise.

Internship Program

The Internship Program is designed to provide intentional learning activities for students to enhance their internship, including opportunities for self-evaluation and reflection. The employer benefits of the program include: student accountability (including evaluations and outlined learning objectives), a campus contact, resources to support student intern, and a recruiting pipeline to Lawrentians.

Employer First Step:

  • Communicate to student to enroll in the Internship Program.

Employer Responsibilities (During Internship):

  • Discuss goals with the student (intentional learning activities are provided to facilitate).
  • Complete final evaluations for the intern. Facilitated by the Assistant Director of Internships through an easy to use online form!
  • Communicate with Assistant Director of Internships any concerns or student successes.
  • Complete program evaluation to identify areas of improvement for CLC communication and student preparedness.

Resources for Employers