- Definition of an internship
- Reasons for doing an intership
- How to find an internship: Step by Step
- Search Engines & Resources
- Receiving academic credit for an internship
- Not-for-Credit Options
- Internsihp pitfalls and areas for concern
- Covering the Financal Costs of Your Internship
- Laws about Unpaid Internships
- Healthy and safe internship environments
- Places where UVM students have interned
1. Definition of an internship and qualities of a strong internship
An internship is experiential learning that combines classroom learning with work in a professional setting. Internships can be paid, unpaid, for credit or not-for-credit, and can take place in Burlington, out-of-state, or in other countries. Internships can take many forms, but these are qualities of a strong internship:
- Integrates classroom learning
- Skills and knowledge learned are transferable
- Has a defined beginning and end
- Clear job description
- Clear goals about what you should learn
- Supervision by a resident expert
- Routine feedback from an experienced supervisor
- Resources, equipment, and facilities that support your work
- At least six weeks in length
2. Reasons for doing an internship
An internship offers a great opportunity to learn by doing. Internships allow someone to:
- Gain professional experience
- Learn about an industry
- Narrow down career interests
- Develop new skills
- Earn credit, get paid, or both
- Establish career networks and mentors
- Build confidence
- Make an impact on the real world
- Learn about your own strengths, skills, and values
3. How to find an internship: Step by Step
- Create and polish your resume and cover letter
See our resume and cover letter resources and examples, or go to the weekly resume workshop in the Career + Experience Hub (runs during the academic year on Mondays at 4:15pm)
- Stop by drop in hours to get feedback on your application materials.
- Make a list of your preferences in company/organization, type of work, location, and any other important factors.
- Reach out to alumni, professors, friends, family, and other contacts if you want to find unlisted opportunities or “create your own internship”
- Begin your search using websites and resources listed below. Make a list of target organizations/companies and internships that appeal to you. Use the "My Internship Search" table below to keep track of deadlines, contact, required documents, and other items to remember.
- Send out applications. This is a like applying to college again: some internships are more competitive and are more of "reach" opportunities, whereas others are less competitive and "safe" bets. Most students apply to at least 5-6 different internships, and sometimes many more.
- Follow up about your applications after 2 weeks. Continue to reach out to your contacts. Many internships are found through networking.
Name, date & method of follow up
Keurig Green Mountain Coffee
Resume & Cover letter
Emailed Nancy Baldwin, 7/20
Offered internship on 7/31
Use a table like this to keep track of pertinent application information
4. Search Engines & Resources
General and Local Internships
- Catamount Job Link (CJL)
UVM’s internal job and internship database. Can search for jobs and internships, upload your resume and cover letter for feedback, apply for positions, and see information about on-campus recruitment, info sessions, and other events. Can also search the employer directory for networking leads and information.
- Indeed.com & SimplyHired.com
Two similar job search meta-engines that aggregate opportunities from many other websites. They are two of the most visited job sites in the US. Can use a “wildcard search” (e.g. “counsel*” will give results for “counsel”, “counseling”, “counselor”, etc.). You can sign up for email alerts, which will send you daily updates about new positions that match your criteria.
- Internships USA
PDFs listing internships by location and industry
(username: Vermont; password: Catamounts)
General internship search by location. Be sure to check if an internship is “virtual” or in-person
- InternMatch, The Vault, WetFeet, & YouTern
Four comparable sites that post rankings ratings, reviews, articles, and internship listings.
- Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility (VBSR) Intern Program
VBSR is an internship “matchmaking” service–they match interns with VT companies. All internships are paid.
- Vermont Technology Council
Search engine for Vermont Internships in technical, creative, and business fields.
Non Profit/Government & Policy
Large non-profit search engine run by Action Without Borders.
- United Way of Chittenden County
The most comprehensive volunteer database in Chittenden County. Great for mining contact information and non-profit internship ideas.
- Government Internships
The “student” section provides info on several government internships
Job and internship database for government positions
- The White House Internship
Competitive program designed to mentor and cultivate young leaders, provide a hands-on experience, and strengthen the understanding of the Executive Office.
- Student Conservation Association
Internships specific to the environment and conservation
- Environmental Career Organization & Orion Grassroots Network
Two similar “green” job and internship search engines
Environmental Science internship, scholarship, and career resources.
Science Health & Technology
- RIT's list of Co-op/Internships and Summer Research Opportunities
in the Life Sciences
Massive list of summer research opportunities in all areas of science
- National Science Foundation Research Sites
Research opportunities across many disciplines
- Pre-Health Volunteer & Internship Experiences
Career Center’s listing of health-related opportunities
- Association of Zoos & Aquariums
Zoo and aquarium job and internship listing
- Transitions Abroad
Travel resource for work, living, volunteering and study abroad
- Cultural Vistas (AIPT-CDS) International
Massive list of summer research opportunities in all areas of science
Global search engine for volunteer opportunities, internships, and nonprofit jobs
- GoinGlobal [available in Catamount Job Link]
Log in to Catamount Job Link and select "GoinGlobal" on the right-hand side of the home page. Has country-specific guides on internships, culture, work visas, housing, professional expectations, and many other resources
Identity-Based Programs and Resources
- INROADS Internships for Diverse Audiences
Competitive internships for first years and sophomores who identify as Black, Hispanic/Latino, and/or Native American Indian.
- Hispanic Association of Colleges & Universities National Internship Program
Places hundreds of students in paid federal and corporate internships.
- Corporate Equality Index
Report and database that benchmark major businesses on LGBT equality.
*Note: You need a LinkedIn account to use LinkedIn resources. To get started, come to our weekly LinkedIn Workshop (Thursdays at 4:15 in the Hub during the academic year)
- LinkedIn Groups: UVM Alumni Association (11,000+ members), University of Vermont Career Connection (6000+ members)
- LinkedIn’s “Find Alumni” Tool (under “Connections” menu).
Can look at charts to see which locations, industries, and companies are the most popular with UVM alumni (and then contact them for more information).
- Career Center page on Networking www.uvm.edu/career/?Page=networking.html
Details strategies and includes sample LinkedIn and email samples, as well as networking questions.
5. Receiving academic credit for an internship
An internship is a great way to gain professional experience, learn about a particular industry, make contacts, and test out the career field. An internship makes sense for these reasons, whether or not you are planning to earn credit.
In order to receive credit, you must enroll in a course connected with your internship. There are several course options, but all courses require that internship credit is agreed upon and enrolled in prior to the internship. That is, no credit can be awarded retroactively for work already completed. One has to be enrolled in a course connected with the internship and paying the associated tuition for the credits earned. The course will also require academic work to be done in conjunction with your internship, such as reflections, readings, essays, and/or other assignments.
It is crucial to consult with your academic advisor about internship credit to understand how credit would fit in with your graduation plan. The number of credits earned depends on how much academic work you complete and how much time you spend working at your internship (1 academic credit typically requires 45 hours spent at your internship). Please note that credit earned is most often elective credit, and does not typically count toward major requirements.
Note that getting paid and receiving credit have no bearing on one another. Some students earn both credit and payment, some students earn neither, and some students receive only credit or payment.
These are the venues to receive credit:
We talk a lot about internships, but how do they relate to our academic work, in and outside our classrooms, majors, and minors? Internship courses in Arts and Sciences offer students an array of answers to this question, by delving into scholarly approaches to their internship. While student interns often go out "there" to gain job experience, it is rare to come back "here" and put those experiences in an intellectual context; students will be able to compare their working environment, institutional structure, tasks, skills, and distinctive challenges to those of their classmates, all while reading and talking about these issues in their broadest sense. In this way, students will gain both a hands-on experience and a birds-eye view of their disciplines and sectors. Whether exploring broad interdisciplinary issues or focusing on themes particular to majors, internship courses bring students together to share experiences, build job skills, and explore career options. Visit the webpage for more information and course offerings.
- website for more information.
- webpage to learn more.
*This list was updated in November 2016. Please send corrections/updates to email@example.com.
It may also be worth checking to see if your department offers credit or programs for undergraduate research.
6. Not-for-Credit Options
Some students may wish to do internships, not for credit, but simply to gain career-related experience. These internships may offer college learning level projects and a chance to test the waters of a career and develop professional skills. As with credit-bearing internships, they may be paid or volunteer and can be completed locally, nationally or internationally.
7. Internship pitfalls and areas for concern
There are a tremendous number of internships available, and while some of them are fantastic learning opportunities, others may not be. You should be aware of warning signs, or “red flags” as you are considering an internship. These signs indicate a poor-quality experience:
- Repetitive, menial tasks that don’t relate to your career interests and goals. You may occasionally make coffee or make copies (everyone does some mundane work from time to time), but this should not make up the bulk of your internship work.
- Commission-based work (that is, being paid based on sales). You may have a job that offers a salary based on commission, but this payment structure is not well-suited for an internship. You should have the support and space to learn, and not be solely focused on making sales to earn your salary.
- Paying for an internship. You should never have to pay an application fee or pay to have an internship experience. The one exception is if you are engaging in an international internship experience, where you may have to pay for your travel or housing.
- Some “virtual” internships. Online internships are becoming more common, but can be of variable quality. Do your due diligence about these opportunities: they should offer adequate resources, supervision, and have an established mode of communication (e.g. Skype meetings on a weekly basis)
If you have a question about an internship posting, or find yourself in an internship of poor quality, please come to drop ins or make an appointment to speak to a career counselor for support and to discuss your options.
8. Covering the Financial Costs of Your Internship
We recognize that students typically have financial demands of tuition, housing, travel, and other personal expenses, and that unpaid/under-paid internships (while offering great experience) can also create a financial burden.
If your employer does not offer to pay you minimum wage, you might ask about other forms of compensation. Some internships offer stipends, which is a fixed amount of money delivered in a lump sum, used to cover expenses (e.g. a $1000 stipend for the semester). Other allotments may include housing, food, or vouchers for gym memberships, bus passes, etc.
It can’t hurt to ask!
You should be aware of laws regarding unpaid internships so that you can advocate for yourself. The Federal Government has laws about when a for-profit company can have an unpaid intern (more information below). Note that unpaid internships with nonprofits are considered volunteer positions.
Additionally, there are several funding sources that provide scholarship money for students who need financial assistance in order to accept an unpaid internship. These monetary awards are competitive, and have varying application requirements.
You can apply to multiple awards using the same application process. The deadline to apply for the following internship scholarships is March 15th at 5pm.
- College of Arts & Sciences Internship Scholarship
Five awards of up to $2500 for students in the College of Arts and Sciences.
- Energy Climate Public Impact Award
Several awards of up to $4000 for students in the College of Engineering & Mathematical Sciences or Rubenstein School of the Environment and Natural Resources. Supports research in the non-profit sector, with a non-governmental or governmental agency focused on energy and climate mitigation through energy system change.
- Honors College Career Development Award
Two scholarships of up to $3500 per student to cover travel and living expenses, Must be a student in the Honors College.
- Internships for the Common Good Fund (formerly the Anna Whitcomb Internship Scholarship)
Five scholarships of up to $2500 per student to cover travel and living expenses. Preference is given for internships at mission-driven organizations.
- Plotkin Internship Scholarship for the Arts
Several scholarships of up to $2500 per student for students pursuing an internship in the arts. Preference is given to students majoring or minoring in one of the following arts disciplines: studio art, art history, art education, music, music education, dance, theater, or film & television studies.
- Public Impact Research Scholarship
Multiple awards of up to $2500 for students engaged in a research/creative internship (or internship with significant research/creative component) in the non-profit sector, with a non-governmental or governmental agency.
- Kate Svitek Memorial Award
Provides financial support to approximately 25 Rubenstein School students pursuing summer, fall, or spring environmental internships. Must be a Rubenstein student, completed sophomore year, and be willing to earn credit for the internship experience.
- Samuel Fishman Memorial Fund
Scholarship of up to $1000 available to students in the Service-Learning Internship Class (EDSS 239)
9. Laws about Unpaid Internships
You should be aware of laws regarding unpaid internships so that you can advocate for yourself. The Federal Government has laws about when a company can have an unpaid intern. An unpaid intern:
- Has to receive an educational experience
- Should be the main beneficiary of the experience
(NOT the employer)
- Cannot displace a regular employee
- Has agreed with the employer that this is an unpaid experience and that the intern isn’t necessarily entitled to a job at the end
As a student, you don’t have to do anything to satisfy these requirements. However, it’s good to know about them so that you aren’t taken advantage of.
Note that getting paid and receiving credit have no bearing on one another. Some students receive both credit and payment, some students receive neither, and some students receive only credit or payment.
10. Healthy and safe internship environments: What to do if you experience harassment in an internship
The UVM Career Center strives to create an excellent internship experience for all participating students.
A successful internship requires, in large part, a positive working and learning environment. Accordingly, UVM will not tolerate discrimination or harassment from employers providing internship opportunities. If any student believes that s/he has been harassed or discriminated against in an internship, they are strongly encouraged to report their concerns immediately to UVM's Office of Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity as well as to Pamela K. Gardner, Director of the Career Center. It is critical that students let us know when there is a problem so that we can continue to support students having a successful experience.
If, in the determination of the University, there are reasonable grounds to believe that an employer or individual has discriminated against a UVM student, that employer or individual may be barred from further participation in UVM–supported internship programs.
11. Places where UVM students have interned
Here are a few examples:
- American Red Cross
- Cumbancha Records
- Brigham and Women's Hospital
- Chittenden County Public Defenders
- ECHO Leahy Center Lake Champlain
- Fletcher Allen Health Care
- Flynn Center for Performing Arts
- Keurig Green Mountain
- King Street Youth Center
- Logic Supply
- NBC news
- National Science Foundation
- National Geographic
- Office on Senator Patrick Leahy
- Simon and Schuster
- Vermont Public Radio
- Vermont Refugee Resettlement
Last modified November 07 2016 11:29 AM