Frequently Asked Questions
- Are Internships Required at Gonzaga?
- What are the different kinds of internships?
- Why is an Internship so Important?
- What Value Does an Internship Add to my Résumé?
- What does a good internship look like?
- How Will I Know if an Internship is Right for Me?
- Will My Internship Be Paid?
- Are Internships Required at Gonzaga?
- How Do I Earn Academic Credit for an Internship?
- Is There Paper Work to Fill Out?
- What If I Want an Internship During the Summer or in another City?
- How do I Write a Proposal?
- What Services Does the Career Center Offer, and where is it Located?
- What is ZagTrax and How Will it Help Me?
- What Should I Include in a Resume?
- How Do I Write A Cover Letter?
- What Else Do I Need to Do?
Generally internships are optional and not required at Gonzaga. However some academic departments require at least one internship for students in that major. Some internships are offered for credit or within a course, others as independent studies. Most internships across campus are sought for the training and experience, and consequently not a requirement. Check the catalogue or with your department or academic advisor for the requirements in your major.
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An internship gives you a chance to get to know a field of work from the inside!
- This can be a great help as you make a decision about your career choice. It allows you to directly experience the very profession you are considering for yourself.
You have the chance to work with professionals in your discipline and gain direct insight from them.
- Being able to directly observe the variety of skills and qualities needed for this profession teaches a lot about whether it is a right fit for you. It also gives you an opportunity to network with people in your chosen profession and determine what skills are required to be successful.
You have the chance to extend your knowledge and skills in a practical way.
- As a serious student you have devoted time and effort to learning your discipline. An internship affords the chance to apply your classroom knowledge and training, engage in analysis, decision making, and face the challenges of the professional world. An internship can be one of the best expressions of your academic work.
You have a chance to offer the latest training to an employer and make a difference.
- Employers are seeking students who are able to offer new and creative input. Because YOU are so recently educated, YOU often have the most cutting edge training. YOU have the chance to bring current trends and fresh ideas to the working environment.
Internships can lead to Employment!
- Many employers invest time and resources into training interns in all aspects of the work. Some companies view this as a form of leadership training that can pave the way into an entry level job. In fact, more employers are recruiting employees directly from their pool of interns. Why? Interns have been strategically trained, are already oriented, and can best serve the needs of the organization.
Graduate Schools Recognize the Value of Internships.
- If you are headed to graduate school for an advanced degree, admissions committees in laws schools, MBA and other professional programs including as many academic disciplines recognize the importance of field experience of all kinds when selecting candidates for entrance.
- Employers who review résumés often consider multiple applicants for just one opening.
What makes your résumé stand out?
- One way to distinguish yourself is by indicating your relevant experience. When an employer notices you have listed one or more internship experiences, your résumé has the potential to make the cut to the next level.
- While in college or as a recent graduate, employers understand you may lack professional work experience. When you are able to highlight internships as part of your relevant experience, it makes a specific distinction to the employer.
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There is always an element of the unknown when experiencing something new; and no way to guarantee everything. However, with careful research and thoughtful preparation you can reduce that risk and increase the likelihood of a successful, meaningful internship experience.
The Evidence that Your Internship is Working!
- Are you are learning new things, and finding an opportunity to apply your own knowledge?
- Do you have encouraging, open communication with your supervisor or mentor?
- Are you growing in your insight about how this field of work fits you?
- Are you experiencing a range of creativity, problem solving or decision making?
- Are you working and networking with others in the company?
Ways to Increase Your Success
- Be well prepared – Go in with a plan, know what you want and think it through in advance.
- Hold clear and reasonable expectations – Let yourself remember what you are there to learn. It may mean you will learn about a career field you don’t want to do! Hold the standards agreed upon by both you and the employer.
- Keep open communication – The more exchange you have with your mentors and supervisors increases your chance to make this a really good learning experience. Ask questions and welcome the feedback you receive!
- Let yourself experience all aspects of the job – Arrive ready to be open for learning as much as is possible and in as many areas. This will give you the best way to assess if this is what you want to do. It will also increase your training and skills.
- Reflect on and record your experience – Take enough time to think about what you are experiencing. Record your insights and mark your progress. It will help make this a meaningful endeavor, and one you will be able to draw from again.
Students generally discover that the majority of internships in the School of Business and the School of Engineering are paid. Wages generally vary based on a number of factors:
- Students’ Experience / Academic level
- Location and size of firm or organization
- Industry or profession
- For profit v. not-for-profit organizations
- Technical nature of the work
Paid internships will generally offer between $10 and $15 per hour. There are some that exceed this amount, while in other cases a stipend is offered.
Unpaid or For Experience internships are found in all disciplines, but more often in majors within The College of Arts and Sciences. When there is no compensation, employers are required by law to strictly follow the guidelines established by the Federal Labor and Statistics Act (FLSA).
These protect a student from too many working hours, unfair promises, and other factors of the work environment. A student is free to request an internship that earns credit, and so derives some value by making progress towards a degree. At Gonzaga, this is approved by the academic department. In other cases a student prefers not to pay the associated tuition, and simply views the internship as valuable and relevant work experience.
There are many inherent benefits to experiential learning whether it is paid or unpaid. For further help in understanding internships contact or visit the Career Center & GAMP office.
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