Internships are experiential learning opportunities that are connected to your education and career goals as well as your professional growth—especially your continuing development of the Core Career Competencies that signify your career readiness as a CLA student. Internships can be paid or unpaid, taken for credit or not for credit, and can vary in hours or duration. Internships are incredible opportunities for you to:
- Test out potential career choices and organizations.
- Get a better sense of the types of job tasks you enjoy (or don’t enjoy, as the case may be).
- Develop professional skills and build a network of contacts that will help you when you’re looking for a job, applying for graduate/professional school, or pursuing another post-graduation path.
- Connect what you’re learning in the classroom (and through other engagement activities) with the world of work.
Internships can, and often do, lead directly to full-time, permanent jobs, too! It’s not hard to understand why. If you were the boss and you needed to hire someone for a position, who would you hire? A relative stranger who responds to a job ad? Or the fantastic summer intern who is already trained in and working for you?
Not a hard decision, is it.
In fact, according to a study by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, when employers are deliberating between two otherwise equally qualified candidates for an entry-level position, two key attributes play the biggest role in the final hiring decision:
- Internship experience with the employer’s own organization.
- Internship experience in the employer’s industry.
So if, as a liberal arts student, you want to position yourself the best you can for post-graduation success, an internship experience (or two or three!) is perhaps the No. 1 way to do it. While some employers prefer to hire juniors or seniors, it is quite possible to get an internship as a first-year student.
That’s why we cover internships extensively here. We will discuss how to find an internship and share resources about making the most of your internship. Since internships require a significant commitment of your time and energy, you’ll want to know options CLA has for internship scholarships and financial support, as well as earning academic credit for your internship. Finally, we want to highlight the many successful, recent CLA internships.
Attend the Annual CLA Internship and Career Fair
The CLA Internship & Career Fair is an annual fall event where you can explore internship opportunities with a wide variety of organizations that are hiring CLA students for internships.