When applying for internships or weighing your options, determine the importance of the factors below and pursue opportunities that best match your interests, objectives, needs, and availability. You may also talk with your career advisor to better understand the process of securing an internship and making the most of it.
Although some administrative duties are still included, internships have come a long way from solely fetching coffee and photo copying. Most employers today offer students challenging assignments and valuable industry and organizational insights. If you excel in your position, you may walk away with tangible work samples, glowing recommendations, and even a job offer at the conclusion of your internship.
AU students may earn academic credit for internships that are approved by faculty and academic advisors. This unique opportunity enables you to gain hands-on experience that directly relates to your course work and gives you a competitive advantage because some employers require students to earn academic credit but not all universities grant it.
Students who rave about their internship experiences often attribute their satisfaction to having great supervisors or mentors who coach them through projects, share industry knowledge, and provide constant encouragement. As an intern, seek out a mentor and build relationships with supervisors or colleagues who may serve as references or help you network to find your next internship or job.
Common aspects of an organization’s culture include its mission, goals, workplace values, and procedures. Interning offers you the opportunity to determine your likes and dislikes and prepares you to search for full-time employment with an organization in which you’ll fit.
Naturally, most students seek paid internships. On average, however, only 40% of internships offer hourly wages or stipends. If you can afford to accept an unpaid internship, search for opportunities that offer other benefits such as substantive projects, extensive training, access to special events, and free food or beverages in the office; Career Center advisors refer to these opportunities as "high quality internships." Also keep in mind that you may earn academic credit and compensation at the same time.