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Internship Guide

A Competitive Edge

Stand out to future employers.

With today's competitive job market, employers are looking for candidates who have prior work experience. An internship helps you develop practical skills, get "real-world" experiences, determine whether your chosen field is right for you and standout from the crowd to potential employers.

Finding an Internship Guide (pdf)

UW-Green Bay marketing interns at PSA recording

Finding an Internship Guide

Beyond traditional classroom learning, you may choose to participate in an experiential education component or arrange for a learning experience in a practical setting. Internships are typically work or service experiences involving students who have already attained academic preparation related to a professional field.

What is an Internship?

An internship is an experience where you take on a responsible role within an organization. You’ll learn through observation and apply theory and skills in a job situation. It’s a solid educational learning experience where you can:

  • Gain practical experience
  • Solidify career choices
  • Network and make contacts
  • Increase your knowledge and skills
  • Obtain additional academic credit
  • Test classroom theories in the "real world"
  • Take control of what you learn
  • Obtain on-the-job training
  • Earn money (possibly)
  • Contribute to an organization
  • Do something in an off-campus setting
  • Increase your community involvement

Is an Internship for You?

Internship experiences are not for everyone. Because internships are learning experiences where skills and knowledge are applied and further developed, it's critical that you're ready to embark on this hands-on experience. You should consider the following areas before you explore internship opportunities:

  • Type and quality of academic work completed (upper level courses, research methods, etc.)
  • Length and depth of experience (full-time, part-time, field experience & practicum)
  • Demonstrated skills such as research, analysis, communication, ability to work independently
  • Best time for the internship to occur in relationship to graduation and academic requirements
  • Level of energy and commitment willing to put forth during the internship

So, is an internship for you? If the answer is "yes", then you are ready to discuss the opportunities with your professors and the staff in Career Planning.

Types of Internships

There are different types of internships, including paid, unpaid/volunteer and academic internships. Remember the key to an internship is the learning experience, not necessarily the type of compensation you'll get in return. An internship you get now may even secure a higher-paying job in the future.

Paid Internships

Paid internships allow you to gain experience with different types of compensation received. Internships may be fully paid (a lump sum for the entire semester such as a stipend) or paid hourly. Usually, the internship description says whether the internship is paid or unpaid.

Unpaid/Volunteer Internships

Do not initially discount an internship just because it is unpaid/volunteer. Unpaid internships are common in government and non-profit organizations.  You will still gain valuable experience which is needed to land a full-time job. 

Academic Internships

Academic internships allow you to receive academic credit for your internship work. A UW-Green Bay faculty member supervises your academic internship, and you need approval for the internship from your academic program. In some programs, a practical component is a required element of the curriculum. Here are some things to consider for academic internships:

  • Most programs at UW-Green Bay will only provide internship support to students in their majors.
  • To earn credit, additional work (research paper, project, journal, evaluations) is often required. Pre-arrange this academic component of the internship with your faculty and on-site supervisors.
  • Refer to the college catalogue for your major regarding the course numbers and descriptions pertaining to internships.
  • Academic credit can only be earned in the semester for which you perform the work as an intern.

For more information, see pursuing an internship for academic credit.

How Career Planning Can Help You

Getting an internship requires effort and hard work. Career Planning & Professional Connections is here to help and support! We will:

  • Help you learn how to find internships
  • Refer you to the internship coordinator in your department to learn how to earn academic credit
  • Help you identify organizations in your area of interest
  • Guide you in preparing application materials:

Career Planning sponsors a job and internship fair twice each year – once in early Fall and again in early Spring. These events are great opportunities to meet with organizations and ask questions about internships.

You Want an Internship: What's Next?

First, you should decide on your level of commitment to an internship and whether you would like to receive academic credit for the experience. Your level of commitment will determine the length of time you are willing to serve as an intern per week and your ideas/goals about what you would like to get out of the experience.

Pursuing an Internship for Academic Credit

Make an appointment to speak with the academic internship coordinator for your major. See internship coordinators by major. Work with your internship coordinator to figure out internship requirements, faculty assessments and possible work-site visits.

  • Pre-arrange the academic component of the internship with your faculty and on-site supervisors. To earn credit, additional work (research paper, project, journal, evaluations) is often required.
  • Review the application procedure with your coordinator. Be clear on your role and what the coordinator will do for you.
  • Complete and submit the internship form on the Registrar’s website to officially enroll for academic credit.
  • Prepare a resume and a possible letter of application at the direction of your coordinator.
  • Have staff in Career Planning review your resume and letter of application.
  • Continue the process as advised.
Identifying Your Own Internship Sites
Develop a list of potential employers

Based on geographic location and field, develop a list of prospective employers. Review the current internships posted and available in Handshake. Some academic programs also list internships on their program website.

Prepare your resume and application

Write a resume and letter of application. View the various resources Career Planning has available to assist you with writing an effective resume and cover letter. Have staff in Career Planning review your application materials.

Follow up on applications

It is important for you to follow-up on your applications. Wait for 5-7 business days before making a follow-up call/email to check the status of your candidacy. Remember, you have initiated the correspondence. If you wait for the organization to respond, you may be missing out on an opportunity. Be ready to follow-up in response to interest in your intern candidacy by sending your resume and a follow-up letter. Check out our interview resources to prepare for your next step!

Need Help?

It's fantastic that you're looking into an internship. No doubt you have questions about what all this means to you. If you're stuck or have questions on what to do next, just contact us.

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