Commonly asked questions about internships

Emily Eitmann

Internships can be confusing. Ebby Luvaga’s Econ 297 Internship Class provides answers for a few of the most-asked questions about internships:

Q: What is an internship?

A: An internship is a job that you work for a period of time — usually one semester or over the summer — that gives you the opportunity to apply your knowledge from school to a real-life work.

Q: Why should I get an internship?

A: Not only do you get hands-on experience with what you are currently studying in school, but at times you can get a permanent job with the company you had an internship with. Also, an internship will help you decide if you are in the right area of study because it can show you what job you could get after graduation and what it would be like so there are no surprises when you enter the “real world.”

Q: What’s in it for me?

A: Some internships are paid, while some are for credit only. With the credit-only classes, you talk to your adviser and there is usually some paper work involved. Some majors require you take a class and write a paper over the internship while others just require you to get a supervisor to sign off on your hours and rate your performance. Several majors require that you have at least a semester-long internship, so you should start looking at your options as soon as you can.

Q: I can only do a summer internship; can’t I just wait to look until spring?

A: You could wait until spring, but many of the good internships are taken by winter break, some are even filled a year in advance. Many companies only have a small handful of internship positions available per year, so the sooner you can apply the better.

Q: How do I get an internship?

A: There are many ways to get an internship. A great way is to check out the career fairs that are going on all around campus and talk to the companies there about their open positions. You can also visit company websites and most of them will have a link to internship and job opportunities. There will be paper work to fill out and most likely an interview. You need to make sure that your resume is perfect. Also, research the company before you go into the interview so you can impress them with your vast knowledge and prove to them that you truly do deserve the position.