Whether you’re a Nursing, Education, Business or any of the Letters & Science majors, internships can play a pivotal role in your job search following graduation. They help you gain experience and decide if a specific industry is right for you.
Often the vocabulary associated with experiential education (out of class work experience) can be confusing. Many times, this vocabulary can be found being used interchangeably and therefore referring to numerous opportunities. Learn more about the following definitions and what they mean to you.
Internships are typically one-time work or service experiences related to your major or career goal. The internship plan generally involves you, the student, working in a professional setting under the supervision and monitoring of practicing professionals.
Internships can be paid or unpaid, and you may or may not receive academic credit for performing the internship.
A Co-op or Cooperative education provides you with work experience that is related to your major or career goal. The typical program through the UW Oshkosh campus includes a one-semester, full-time opportunity while not taking any other classes. Virtually all co-op positions are paid and the vast majority involves some form of academic credit.
A practicum is generally a one-time work or service experience completed by you, the student, as part of an academic class. Some practica offer pay but many don’t. Almost all are done for academic credit.
An externship or job shadowing experience allows you, the student, to spend between a day and several weeks observing a professional on the job. Such experiences are unpaid; however, some colleges and universities pick up travel and/or living expenses. Externships and job shadowing experiences are generally not done for academic credit.
Internships for Academic Credit
At UW Oshkosh you can earn academic credit for participating in internships. Once you have an internship opportunity, gaining academic credit may be an ideal situation to gain elective credits or credits in your major.
Courses for students interested in credit for internships, co-op, externships, field placements, and experiential education are available by college.
- College of Business
- College of Education & Human Services
- College of Letters & Sciences
- College of Nursing
To learn more about the College of Letters and Science Internship Courses sponsored by Career & Professional Development download the brochure here.
Even if your degree does not require you to participate in an internship, co-op or practicum, there are several benefits to having participated in one.
Internship Search Strategies
Landing an internship can be a very similar process to finding a full-time job. Many of the same strategies and activities will be the same as well. Below are a variety of methods and suggestions for landing an internship.
- Develop a resume and cover letter, all tailored to each position you apply for.
- Talk to the appropriate internship director, coordinator or faculty.
- Check the internship postings on Handshake.
- Set up a job agent to receive email updates on your chosen search.
- Attend job fairs and career workshops to network with prospective employers.
- Check with your major’s department for possible internship leads or to check bulletin boards that may have postings.
- Improve your interviewing skills by attending mock interviews.
- Be active in your search by following up on any possible leads or applications you may have sent out.
- Alert family, friends, faculty and those in your network you are searching and include a copy of your resume and criteria for your search.
- If there is a specific company or organization that you are interested in, check their website or give them a call about internship opportunities.
- Utilize On-Campus Interviewing for internships that are posted in Handshake.
- Stay after class to talk to class speakers and guests about your interests in your field and their connections or opportunities.
How to Maximize Your Internship
Once you have an internship, there are a few tips to get the most out of the experience. Learn more about what you can do to enhance your new opportunities.
Internship Maximization Tips
- Learn as much as you can about the organization.
- Keep a weekly journal of your experience (i.e. activities and projects).
- Sit down with your supervisor and establish mutually agreed-upon goals so you know what is expected of you.
- Become familiar with all technology used.
- Develop positive traits (i.e. punctuality, dependability).
- Don’t be afraid to ask a lot of questions and be sure to follow the rules and regulations.
- Understand that some general office work is part of the job.
- Introduce new ideas gradually and avoid trying to change too much too soon.
- Ask for more responsibility and actively look for things to do.
- Network! Build bridges with the people who are doing what you think you would like to do in the future. They may be able to help you in your current position or lead to contacts for future opportunities.
- Become familiar with other interns in the office. Provide a support group for each other and develop friendships. (This will help you when your internship is far away from your normal activities.)
Internship Programs at UW Oshkosh
The Student Titan Employment Program (STEP) offers undergraduate and graduate students unique high-impact learning opportunities. As a student worker in STEP, students can earn money while working on innovative projects for a campus department or unit.
Depending on the needs of campus units, students may participate in projects in areas such as media services, student-faculty research, supplemental instruction, library assistance, instructional technology and academic computing support, and Web page development and maintenance.
In Handshake, you can search for these positions under position type, and selecting “STEP”. Based on that search criterion, all current STEP positions will appear.
Office of International Education at UW Oshkosh
By connecting with the OIE office at UW Oshkosh you can get connected to many study abroad and National Student Exchange programs that offer internship opportunities.
Cross Cultural Solutions
Students interested in education, health or social services have the opportunity to intern in one of 10 countries, including Xi’an, China; San Carlos, Costa Rica; Guatemala City, Guatemala; and more. Dates vary, but internships are available year round. Summers, interim or winter break are definitely a possibility. There is a three to 12 week minimum/maximum, which varies by country.
The Intern Abroad program is an incredible opportunity to have an international internship or to gain work experience in the areas of health, education, or social services. Cross-Cultural Solutions (CCS) is a recognized leader in international volunteering, and the Intern Abroad program provides a supportive and academic framework to the volunteer experience. It’s unique because its academic structure will help you pick an area of focus and set your learning objectives.
While interning abroad, you will have an intern advisor, and have to log your experiences as well as complete a summary project. All CCS programs include a volunteer placement, culture and learning activities based on your placement, free time for travel, and lodging in CCS Home-Base, where you will stay with other volunteers.
AustraLearn specializes in providing students with high quality educational programs in Oceania (Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific). The Professional Development for Academic Credit (PDAC) Internships are examples of highly desirable placements throughout the AustraLearn program. Placement opportunities are available in many fields, such as:
All placements are with exceptional organizations geared towards your particular field of study. Placement supervisors work with you to establish a set of responsibilities to ensure that your goals and interests are met during the placement.
World Endeavors offers unique and fulfilling volunteer, study and internship programs in communities around the world, including: