What Is An Internship?

An internship is a great way to gain valuable experience and build your resume. Internships allow you to:

  • Gain insight on your career goals
  • Test out different work environments
  • Build your resume and develop industry-specific skills
  • Shape and grow your professional network
  • Practice the job search process

At the University of Rochester an internship is defined as: “a form of experiential learning that integrates knowledge and theory learned in the classroom with practical application and skills development in a professional setting. Internships give students the opportunity to gain valuable applied experience and make connections in professional fields they are considering for career paths; and give employers the opportunity to guide and evaluate talent.” (National Association of Colleges and Employers)

What qualifies as an internship?

An internship must:

  • Be supervised by a professional within the organization you work for
  • Serve PRIMARILY as a learning experience for you
  • Have clearly defined duties and activities agreed upon by you and the employer
  • Include an analytical or reflective component (“See How to Make the Most of Your Internship” section below)
  • Assist you in progressing toward a professional or exploratory career goal
  • Comply with all relevant employment laws and statues; you do not give up your rights as an employee due to your student status
  • If for academic credit – Is supervised by a faculty or staff member within the University

An internship should:

  • Take place in a professional setting (adequately structured remote experiences can also be internships)
  • Have clear expectations and evaluation processes provided by the employer
  • Assist you in delineating a career path from the internship forward
  • Encourage you to develop college competencies, including: Intercultural & Global Fluency, Career Design & Management, Leadership, Critical Thinking & Problem Solving, Teamwork, Adaptability & Resiliency, Oral & Written Communication