What is an internship and how does it differ from a job?

An internship is a short-term work experience with an employer in a career field of interest to you. Iowa Wesleyan University internships must be related to your major. It emphasizes learning on the job rather than earning. It provides a chance to observe the work, to gain on-the-job experience and to learn how you like the field.

Why is an internship important?

Related experience is the number one factor employers use when hiring employees. Internships can offer you actual hands-on experience in a field of interest. Internships can also help you test your skills and interests in that field. It will give you practice in some valuable job hunting skills, such as creating a resume and interviewing. Internships can also provide you with useful contacts and possibly a reference for future employment.

How can you learn about internships?

Make an appointment with the Director of Internships to develop a strategy. Please start this process during the fall of your junior year.

Can I create my own internship?

Definitely, and these are often the most useful. Any organization in a field of interest to you is a candidate. Explore the organization, see where you might fit in best, and propose a plan to the employer. This is an area where alumni could be helpful. In approaching alumni, ask for advice on how to proceed.

Community Connections are also a good way to go about it: Many students develop their own internships by contacting friends and family or just by going and calling or visiting a company they are interested in learning more about. Networking has always proved to be a superior technique for finding opportunities. Who you know may be as important as what you know.

Are some internships paid?

Yes, depending on the need of the employer and if they can afford to pay you; but the key should be the value of the work experience provided. Given a choice between one which pays (with little work experience of value) and one which does not pay (and offers good, relevant experience), consider taking the unpaid internship.

Why do employers like internships?

They like the enthusiasm and dedication of the interns. Furthermore, for little cost, they get to preview prospective candidates for employment, and if they really like you they may offer you a job after graduation.