“The only source of knowledge is experience.”- Albert Einstein
By the time a student graduates from Hope College they will have participated in some form of experiential learning opportunity. One way is through an internship! Here at the Boerigter Center for Calling and Career, Jena Gasworth works with students who are searching for these types of experiences.
Jena has answered 10 questions that Hope students typically have about internships:
1. What is your role at the new Boerigter Center for Calling and Career?
I work with all things related to internships. I meet with students who are seeking internships whether it is local, back home, or off-campus. I also work with internship faculty teaching internship courses and employers seeking interns.
2. What is your favorite part about working with internships
The internships I had while I was in college helped me discern what I wanted to do in higher education. I love helping students connect their interests to real world experiences.
3. About how many Hope students end up getting an internship?
Annually, we have about 300 Hope students who have an internship for credit. Hope’s Graduate Survey stated that as of 2017, 96% of students were involved in some kind of experiential experience such as an internship, DiscoverWork, student-faculty research, or off-campus study.
4. What resources should students take advantage of/focus on while searching for an internship?
Handshake is a great resource for looking for opportunities. “How-to” guides on our BCCC website are very helpful for resume and cover letter help which is essential for the internship process. Also, career fairs are good for networking with employers.
5. Which year is typical for students to get an internship? What is the timeline like?
Students can do an internship any year. Sophomore, junior, and senior year are most common because you need to have declared your major if you are seeking an internship for credit. Timeline-wise, there is a big push for summer internships starting in the fall. Some companies will wrap up all of their hiring up by Christmas. There is another big wave in the spring (Jan./Feb. for summer opportunities). Usually students should look a semester or two in advance for their internship.
6. Do I get credit for an internship?
It depends on the student’s declared major. They must take a course that is tied to their major, and their faculty supervisor must sign off on it. There is typically a four credit class where they meet outside of their internship. If the internship is over the summer, there is an online course that goes along with it.
7. If I do an internship that is not related to my major/career path, should I still put it on my resume?
Yes, absolutely! It is still experience that results in building transferable skills that can be taken with you to a job or another internship. Employers like seeing internship experience and the path that led you to apply at their business.
8. Are all internships unpaid?
It depends on the organization. I would say about half are unpaid.
9. What are the benefits of getting an internship local vs. in another state/country?
If a student does an internship through an off-campus study program like Chicago Semester or The Philadelphia Center, it is usually a full-time internship. On top of that it involves navigating a new city! Local internships are usually about 10-15 hours/week while juggling other classes and projects. Both give great working experiences.
10. Overall, do you have any advice for students about internships in general?
I advise students to apply for 20+ internships. Sometimes students get so fixated on one or two internships, and if they apply for more they have a better chance of getting one. Also, if you need any individual help the BCCC is here to help! If you put in the effort, it can open up more opportunities for job search and networking.
Sometimes, an internship can rule out something you do not want to do, and that is okay! Your attitude about it makes such a huge difference; what you put into the internship is what you get out of it.
The Boerigter Center for Calling and Career wants to help students in their search for internships. Students can use our readily available resources along the way. Come check out our new office on the first floor of DeWitt!