Internships can be paid or unpaid, for academic credit or no credit and can take place during the semester or summer. Summer internships are most commonly pursued by students with the ability to intern full-time in between semesters, or part-time in combination with summer classes or part-time employment. While internships can be secured during your first or second year, many industries trend toward hiring third year students due more depth of coursework in a major and experience.
A great first step toward an internship is to gain experience on Grounds. Consider student organizations, class projects, and other experiential learning opportunities to build transferable skills that employers will find beneficial to their organizations and provide direction for your search. Externships, job shadowing, and volunteer service learning are additional ways to increase your industry exposure and career focus giving you an edge as an intern candidate.
Internships help you assess what you like as much as what you do not, so be comfortable exploring. You may be surprised to find your initial career interests to be less of a fit than you thought. Or, you may discover a new career path that is more exciting than you imagined. Both experiences are invaluable to finding your future career direction. Learning about functional roles, organizational cultures, and industries will benefit you in developing transferable skills, direction, and a professional network to help you reach your future goals.
Starting Your Search
- Know Yourself
- Create Your Professional Documents
- Explore Opportunities
- Consider Additional Ways to Gain Experience
Making choices about your major, career, or graduate or professional school plan is challenging. The UVA Career Center is here to help guide you through the process and provide you resources to help make you more successful.
- About the process
- Knowing What's Involved in a Career Choice
- Understanding Yourself and Your Options
Career assessments can be incredibly helpful because they confirm and affirm the things you instinctively know to be true. Align your personality, strengths, and interests with potential careers through career assessments provided by the UVA Career Center.
Well-developed professional materials will open the door for you to meet and interview with employers.
Understanding yourself and your options is the next step in your journey. Self-knowledge includes a clear understanding of your values, interests, and skills. The options below can help guide you towards potential opportunities.
Discover careers that may fit with your interests and talents. As you explore various careers, you may learn about careers you didn't know existed.
Career Communities are a great way to learn more about opportunities in the fields of your choice!
- Creative Arts, Media, & Design
- Education, Counseling, & Youth Development
- Engineering, Science & Technology
- Public Service & Government
You will find that networking is one of the most important parts of the internship search. Even if you have the perfect resume and lots of experience, it is often difficult to land an internship without having been active in networking beforehand. Connecting with professionals who can offer inside perspective about trends, perspectives, and opportunities in your desired career field will give you an edge in your internship search and interviewing process.
Informational interviewing is the process of gathering career information from people who are already working in target occupations, organizations, or geographic locations.
- Why Informational Interviewing?
- How to set up an Informational Interview
- Questions to ask in the informational interview
- Job Shadowing
- Service Learning
- Virtual Internships
- Work Study & Student Employment
- Student Organizations