When to Search
Students can 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!
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, maybe using Viking Connect's search tools.
- 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.
- Be sure to check out the Career Communities for some ideas!
- Log into Handshake 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 tour Career Advisors.
- 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.
Internships While Studying Abroad
Did you know that you can do an internship during your study abroad or off campus program experience?
Below is a list of programs which offer this option: Lawrence University London CentreVienna, Austria: European Society and CultureGaborone, Botswana: Arts and SciencesQuebec Seminar and InternshipSantiago, Chile: Politics, Social Justice, and LanguageShanghai, ChinaInternational Development in Ecuador Nantes, France: French Language Immersion and Area StudiesParis, France: French StudiesBerlin, Germany: Language and Area Studies Freiburg, Germany: Language and Area StudiesEuropean UnionLegon, Ghana: Arts and Sciences Contemporary India Milan, Italy: Music: Voice, Composition, and InstrumentalJapan Study
(Everyone takes part in a month-long, full-time internship between semesters)- International Development in KenyaSalamanca, Spain
(Spring Semester only and only in Education field) Northern Ireland: Democracy and Social ChangeNewberry Library Seminar: Research in the Humanities
For more information on off campus programs at Lawrence University please visit their webpage here
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.
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.
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.
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 Career Center 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 Career Center 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 Career Center.
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 staff if any questions or concerns arise.
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.
Resources for Employers