According to an annual survey conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), employers prefer to hire candidates who have relevant experience. For university students, internships are a great way to gain the experience that employers value.
- What is an internship?
Internships are monitored work experiences that include learning goals and reflection.
- May be part-time or full-time
- May be paid or unpaid
- Last at least ten weeks long and ten hours per week
- Are available to all Calvin students who are sophomores or above
- May be for academic credit (completed while taking an internship seminar course at Calvin) or non-credit (completed for experience only)
- Are available fall, spring and summer semester
- Are available to students from all majors offered at Calvin
- Establish a balance between the intern's learning and the work that the organization needs done
- Why should I pursue an internship?
- Explore a specific field of interest
- Determine if a career is a good fit
- Obtain practical experience to enhance a resume and improve skills
- Supplement theoretical learning with practical applications
- Build your network with people in the field that interests you
- Does internship work count for academic credit?
You may participate in the internship program on a credit or non-credit basis. To receive credit, students must register for an internship seminar course (see list of available internship classes). For-credit internships have academic requirements. Some summer course work is completed on-line.
- What's the difference between a job and an internship?
For a work experience to be considered an internship, it should meet the following criteria:
- The intern should be professionally supervised on site
- The internship should be a new learning experience
- The intern should have a deliberate learning agenda going into the experience
- The intern should actively reflect on what he/she is learning through the experience
- Interns are not eligible for unemployment at the conclusion of the internship
- Are interns paid?
In the past few years, 70 percent of Calvin interns have been paid. Pay is often determined by market supply and demand. Typical unpaid internships are in non-profit, sports management, health care, television, political and ministry organizations. Don’t rule out an internship because it's not paid. Think long-term: one semester of a part-time, unpaid internship can be invaluable to your career. Find the position that will give you the most relevant experience. Some students maintain a part-time, paid job while doing an unpaid internship.
- What is Work-Study?
The federal government provides money to help pay for university students' wages in some on-campus and off-campus jobs. Your eligibility for Work-Study is related to your financial situation as determined by the FAFSA form. Calvin has partnered with a few non-profit organizations to offer internship quality, paid, Work-Study community service opportunities off-campus. To find out more, visit our student employment webpage.
- Get an Internship
All internships that we know about are posted on Handshake. Meet with a career coarch or attend our daily workshops for additional assistance.
- Additional resources for finding an internship:
- Ask family, friends, and professors for internship possibilities to pursue
- Calvin alumni:
- Use LinkedIn to search for relevant contacts, espcially Calvin alumni contacts
- If you’re looking for opportunities in another geographical area, check to see if there's a Calvin alumni chapter group that could help
- Networking Professionally Online
- Other Websites
- See the national internship listings in CareerInsider.
Websites of Professional Organizations in Your Field
- Find local chapters of national organizations (such as American Psychological Association, American Society of Mechanical Engineers, Public Relations Society of America, etc).
- Contact the leader of the local chapter to network and attend events.
- Contact Companies/Organizations that Interest You
- Don't sit back and wait for an opportunity.
- Go make your own opportunities happen by proposing internships to companies/organizations that interest you.
- Be sure to look on the career sections of their websites to see what opportunities are posted.
- Use local Chambers of Commerce or Business Journals to identify companies to pursue.
International students may participate in internships, as outlined below:
- Dual citizenship, attending a university as a USA citizen
- can participate in any of the internship options, credit and noncredit, paid and unpaid; do not need to obtain a CPT work visa, do need a social security number
- On-campus internship
- available to all international students for credit and non-credit internships
- Off-campus internships – unpaid
- available to all international students; however, may not receive any compensation, work authorization is not needed, can complete a credit or non-credit internship
- Off-campus internships – paid
- need to have F-1 status and be in good standing de
- must have attended Calvin for nine consecutive months and maintained full-time (12 credits per semester) status
- internship needs to be directly related to the major
- contact the Immigration Coordinator in Admissions to obtain CPT (Curricular Practical Training) application or view the CPT forms online
- must register for an internship course or complete an independent study course or have your advisor connect it to a relevant course
- CPT visa needs to be approved before you can begin your internship
- maximum hours of internship work per week during the school year is 20 hours, full-time is allowed during the summer; maximum internship credits allowed towards graduation is 12 credits