What is an Internship?
An internship is a form of experiential learning that integrates classroom knowledge with practical application and skill development in a professional setting. Internships give students the opportunity to gain valuable applied experience and make connections in professional fields they are considering for career paths, and give employers the opportunity to evaluate talent. Academic credit may be available for an internship depending on the student's department at UNC Asheville.
• Students who have completed internships have an average higher starting salary than those who did not intern
• Students who have interned have a shorter full time job search and get more job offers than non-interns
• 72.5% of employers say, "I prefer to hire candidates with relevant work experience"
• 60% of employers indicate they prefer experience to be gained from internships/co-ops
• Internships and employment during college rose to the top of the list as the most heavily weighted attributes considered by employers
• Employers made full-time offers to 64.8 percent of their interns
• Internships help you build your resume, professionalism, industry knowledge and your contacts
• Internships let you test drive a career to see if it is right for you
• 63% of college grads have completed at least one internship, and many do multiple internships
Based on data from NACE (National Associaton of Colleges and Employers)
Finding an Internship
Finding the right internship for you requires research. Internships are posted on sites including RockyLink, CareerShift, internships.com, and internshipmatch.com. If you have a specific organization in mind, go directly to their company website to look for potential internship offerings. Some employers may formally offer and publicize internships directly through your academic department. The Career Center also hosts the Job and Internship Fair each spring, bringing many employers who are ready to talk with prospective interns.
Not all internships are publicized! Some students will find it necessary to create their own internship by directly contacting employers of interest. Internships may also be found by using your network: LinkedIn, personal contacts, faculty, advisors and Career Center staff. Contact the Career Center if you need assistance in preparing a resume and approaching potential internship sites.
Course Credit for Internships
Many departments offer internship programs for course credit. If you are considering an internship, consult your academic advisor or your department’s Internship Faculty to see how it fits with your course of study. Current internship courses are listed here. If your major is undeclared, you are seeking a second internship, or your department doesn't currently offer for-credit internships, the Career Center offers a 3-credit course: IST 325, "Internship - Exploring Career Choices." Remember, internships will need to be pre-approved before registering for most of these courses. For example, many spring internship proposals will need to be approved by October, and fall internships will need approval in March. Plan ahead!
Career Center Internship Course - IST 325
IST 325—Exploring Career Choices(3)
(Offered Spring & Fall Semesters)
Students must arrange an approved internship placement prior to the start of the course. Although the Career Center does not provide internship placements, we offer assistance and resources to assist you.
Interested? Contact Chris Hegg in the Career Center at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 828.250.3891
"Exploring Career Choices" Testimonials:
"I honestly think I'd be lost without that class. It was by far the most useful class I took at UNC Asheville and I'm so grateful for taking it."
- L. Basso, Psychology '11
"This course truly did help me realize what field best suited my personality and skills. I am so glad that I took it. If I had not, I would have ended up settling for a job that was not right for me."
- Danielle Reynolds, Literature '11
"This class helped me "get my mind in gear" about what I want in a career and how to get there. I knew the basics of what I wanted, but this class helped me figure out exactly what I need to do to make it a reality."
- Samantha Pope, Psychology '11
"This course helped me understand the job hiring process and how to separate myself from other potential candidates. I learned how to create a professional portfolio which definitely help me get a job."
- Whitney Abbott, Mathematics major, Education Licensure '08
"I learned how to present myself to the professional world. It was difficult for me to tout my achievements before, but now I get it. In my internship I gained so much experience! I may have been meeting future employers as well."
- Jessica Smith, post-baccalaureate student
"The in-class discussions alone were enough to help you feel confident about entering the business world. I learned more in class from the fun, creative discussions than in all my classes in all four years at UNC Asheville."
- Jennifer Bacon, Mass Communication '05
Liability Insurance Available for Student Interns
If students are participating in structured internship experiences either through an academic program or a department such as the Key Center or Career Center, they are eligible for general and professional liability insurance sponsored by The University of North Carolina Student Intern Program. This is a special service available to students on a cost per-semester basis. For health related internships, the cost is $23 a semester and all other internships are $10 per semester. Participation is strictly voluntary, unless required by your internship site or academic program. Specific information for students who are interested in this program can be obtained from: Andrea Jackson, Fixed Asset Accountant, Phillips Hall Room 212, 828.251.6560.