Honors College Internships
Internships are intended to provide students with the opportunity to work alongside professionals to gain real-world experience, explore personal and professional interests, try out a career path, and network with professionals. Internships give students the opportunity to gain valuable applied experience and give employers the opportunity to guide and evaluate talent.
According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, internship programs are listed as the number one place employers look when recruiting new hires. Internships provide you with the opportunity to test-drive a career path and to gain valuable experience and skills in the process that will make you more competitive and marketable in today's job search.
In addition to learning hard skills used to complete tasks, internships also help build soft skills needed to interact in a professional setting. You will hone your communication and interpersonal skills and experience and understand organization/company culture.
No, internships can be valuable for any student, whether you're interested in business, nonprofit administration, education, public service, a doctoral program, or law, medical or other professional graduate program. Internships are available in all sectors and students can intern in a great variety of roles, from marketing to teaching and counseling/therapy to museum research.
Internships may be paid or unpaid, depending on the employer/internship site. If you have an unpaid internship, is it legitimate? Check first. Most nonprofit and government internship programs have greater flexibility when offering unpaid internships. However, for-profit companies must meet government-issued criteria to offer unpaid internships.
The Department of Labor's Fair Standards Act outlines seven criteria that must be met for a for-profit company to offer unpaid internship. Each for-profit company is responsible for determining whether each of its particular internship programs meets the unpaid criteria. If you are applying for an unpaid internship that does not appear to meet the DoL's seven criteria, contact Career Services at 210-458-4589 for help framing a professional conversation about the pay status with your potential internship supervisor or the hiring manager.
Applying credit for an internship to satisfy Honors SPICES requirements differs from an internship that is applied to your degree. As with other Honors experiences, a minimum of 75+ hours must be spent with time on task while supervised, have a stated goal to be reached by the end of the internship, and be presented at the Experiential Learning Fair (ELF) in the spring semester. Finally, a paper must be submitted to the Academic Counselor responsible for professional development. For more information on Honors College Experience requirements, visit the Honors College Requirements page.
Career Services, which is located in the Student Union 2.02.04, can assist you in finding an internship that is right for you based upon your personal interests, major, and career interests. They also have staff that can assist you in completing an application and preparing for an interview. As you begin considering where you might want to do an internship, keep these things in mind:
- Focus on a specific city, industry and role to make the search less overwhelming and find an internship more quickly.
- Don’t know what you’re good at or where to start? A peer coach can help you better articulate your skills, interests and values. Do you have a specific internship in mind? Staff in Career Services can help increase your potential for success by helping you create targeted application materials, articulate your skills and perform well in an interview.
- You’ll also want to use the internship feature on Indeed. Indeed aggregates internship postings from thousands of websites. Let these tools do some of the work for you. Many of the jobs and internship boards on our search tools page will send you alerts when a job matching your criteria is posted. Once you have identified possibilities, meet with an Honors College peer coach and then the Academic Counselor responsible for Professional Development.
- The Academic Counselor responsible for Professional Development will be holding workshops that will have additional resources. Dates and times can be found below.
- Use the internship description and list of qualifications in the internship posting to customize your resume and cover letter each time you apply for something new.
- Need help preparing your resume or cover letter? Start by checking out the Career Center's resume and cover letter samples and templates.
- Once you have a rough draft, visit the Career Center to make sure your application materials are appropriately targeted to the internship posting and organization.
- Be sure to follow the application instructions precisely.
- Stay organized — keep a list of all the internships to which you've applied. You'll want to be prepared when an organization follows up with you!
- Congrats on lining up an interview! Use the organization's website to research the organization, its culture, and the role thoroughly before your interview.
- Learn interview types and strategies, and prepare responses to typical interview questions with the help of the interviewing page.
- Not feeling very confident about your upcoming interview? Use the Career Center's mock interview tips found in the Group Mock Interview Guide.
Clarify expectations — from the start, be sure you understand what your supervisor expects from you and the scope of your responsibilities.
Build a relationship with your supervisor — you want to maintain a high level of professionalism, but it's okay to share stories about your interest outside of work.
Be proactive — do what's expected of you, follow through on assigned tasks, meet deadlines, and communicate any challenges you may have before deadlines.
Maintain a clean workspace from day one — remember that impressions matter, and you don't want any distractions from your work. This is especially important if you share an office space with other interns.
Meet other professionals and get outside of your office — you should make plans to go to social events, meet other employees at your internships, and seek to understand the organization's culture and how people fit in.
Speak up and ask questions — remember that the purpose of your internship is to learn and grow. Don't make a mistake on a task that could have been prevented by speaking up or asking people to clarify.
Seek out new projects and new opportunities — speak to your supervisor about skills you want to to gain and new projects you want to take on. Take initiative on your own after you complete the tasks given to you.
Show up and be on time — make sure you are a true professional at all times.
Be reliable — do you meet deadlines, pay attention to details, and create meaningful work? Can your supervisor trust you?
International Students Interested in Internships
Please meet with staff at the Career Center and visit the Office of International Programs for guidance on your work eligibility.