Internships

Internships can be:

  • Full or part-tme
  • Paid or unpaid
  • For academic credit or no credit
  • During the academic semester or summer

While you can do an internship during your first or second year at UVA, some employers prefer students in their third year for more depth in coursework. 

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Preparing to Search

A great first step toward an internship is to gain experience on Grounds.  Look at student organizations, class projects, and other learning opportunities. It is a great way to get direction for your search and get skills that employers will find appealing.  Externships, job shadowing, and volunteering are also ways to get industry exposure. This will give you an edge as an intern candidate.

Internships help you find out what you like and what you do not.  You may be surprised to find your initial career interests to be less of a fit than you thought.  Or, you may find a new career path that is more exciting than you thought. Both experiences are important to finding your future career path.  Learning about functional roles and organizational culture will help you reach your goals.

Internship Guidelines

The UVA Career Center supports the NACE standards on internships. These standards state that internships need to meet specific criteria to ensure compliance with the US Department of Labor and Fair Labor and Standards Act (FLSA).   

  • The experience must be an extension of the classroom. I.e., a learning experience where you can apply the knowledge gained in the classroom. It must not be simply to benefit the employer. It also cannot be work that a regular employee would typically do.
  • The intern must be able to transfer gained skills and knowledge to other jobs
  • The experience has a set beginning and end
  • The internship has a job description with desired qualifications
  • There are set learning objectives/goals related to the student's professional goals
  • A professional with expertise will supervise the intern
  • The experienced professional routinely provides feedback to the intern
  • The host employer provides resources that support the intern's learning and goals

Global Internship University Travel Registry

UVA Policy requires that “All students traveling abroad for University-related purposes must register their international travel in the University Travel Registry before the expected departure date and, if possible, should update the travel registry as additional information becomes available or changes occur throughout the duration of the trip, including additional countries added during travel. This policy applies to all students traveling outside of the national borders of the United States for University-related purposes, which may include but are not limited to study, research, internships, service, conferences, presentations, teaching, performances, recruiting, or athletic competitions. University-related purposes include any travel that is for academic credit and/or utilizes University resources.”

Deadlines

Internship application deadlines vary, often depending on career fields of interest. It is best to identify potential organizations of interest in the fall semester to determine where the deadlines might fall and proceed accordingly. The time frames below are typical ranges in which to expect internship postings and application deadlines.

  • For NGOs and several government organizations, many deadlines vary from late in the fall semester to early in the spring semester. Some organizations may not post their summer internship deadlines until the end of the fall semester, as they accept applications further into the spring semester.
  • Many business-related internships with large companies will have deadlines late in the fall semester or into January and February. A number of employers choose to post such opportunities in Handshake.

Deadlines for internships in other fields vary. For "official internship programs," the deadlines may take place late in the fall semester or into the spring. Other opportunities that are called "internships" are more flexible and students may find opportunities well into the spring semester.

 

Where to Search

The websites below can serve as resources in your internship search. The listing of these resources does not imply endorsement of the site by the UVA Career Center. Use these resources to:

  • Find internship postings of interest
  • Explore the skills and qualifications employers are looking for
  • Find ways to develop the skills you may be missing (perhaps through a class, club, or organization at UVA)
  • Guide you in doing your own search for similar sites and organizations online

Handshake

Review internship listings posted by employers and alumni who are interested in UVA students.

Paid Resources available to UVA Students

UVA Students have exclusive paid access to these resources through Handshake. Access through: Handshake> Resources > Online Job/Internship Resources

Career Insider by Vault Includes an internship database (search results may include international opportunities) and guides to industries that frequently recruit college students and recent graduates. 
CareerShift Complete database of employers and jobs/internships for students and recent grads. Includes a comprehensive resume builder. 
CEI Internships Covers various fields, including international affairs, women‘s rights, media, sports, environment, seasonal state parks, law and policy, resorts, congressional, human rights, and history.
Current Jobs for Graduates Internships and jobs for Liberal Arts Graduates and entry level positions in Writing, Editing, Communications, Management, Business, Education, and Performing Arts. 
Going Global Provides guides to various countries and a database of internships and jobs. Keep in mind that visa and work regulations vary by country, and you may not be eligible to work in most countries without obtaining governmental authorization.
Idealist.org Hub for nonprofit, government, and non-governmental opportunities both in the U.S. and abroad (includes internships)
Internships.com The world‘s largest internship marketplace. Students can make an individual account using their @virginia.edu email address.
Opportunities in Public Affairs Job and internship listings and resources for careers in politics, policy, PR, fundraising, writing, and research
Policy Jobs The latest research and policy-making jobs and internships from around the world.
Political Jobs The latest jobs in politics; in political parties, public affairs, parliaments and senates worldwide.

UVA Resources

Global Internships Office The Office of Global Internships aims to enable UVA students' participation in meaningful internships in international and/or "global" settings
International Studies Office (ISO) The International Studies Office (ISO) contributes to UVA's global mission through activities, programs and services designed to support the development of a globally aware, culturally diverse education and research environment. 
University Internship Program A four credit academic internship program offered through the Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service in collaboration with the College of Arts & Sciences, Departments of Sociology and Psychology. The UIP offers several internship options to UVA undergraduate students.

Career Communities

Career Communities are a great way to learn more about opportunities in the fields of your choice!

Diversity Resources

Programs for students of color, underrepresented populations, and special populations.

Consider Additional Ways to Gain Experience

  • Virtual Internships
    • A virtual internship provides the opportunity for you to work from anywhere at any time. The rise of technology affords many the opportunity to be able to do work from remote locations, including their dorm room or home, without skipping a beat. E-internships or virtual internships have become an attractive option especially if your goal is also to balance part-time employment or coursework. Evaluating quality is critical in evaluating the merit of a virtual internship experience. The US Department of State's Virtual Student Foreign Service is an example of high quality virtual internships and project experiences.
      Time and space are no longer barriers when considering gaining experience and virtual internships are becoming more commonplace.  Consider the elements that define quality internships and also internship employer guidelines to evaluate virtual internships.  Virtual internships will help you develop strong project management, communication, and planning skills as you work remotely with a team or in a virtual office environment. 
    • Find Opportunities
  • ExternshipsFellowships, & Job Shadowing
  • Service Learning
  • Work Study & Student Employment
  • Student Organizations
  • Research
    • Center for Undergraduate ExcellenceThe Center for Undergraduate Excellence encourages students to make research a fundamental part of your academic experience at the University of Virginia.  They use the term “undergraduate research” to encompass research, scholarship, and creative endeavors, recognizing that examples may range from literary scholarship and chemistry experimentation to architectural design and fiction writing.  
    • Undergraduate Student Opportunities in Academic Resource (USOAR): This is a new program that targets rising first, second and transfer undergraduate students who do not have previous significant experience in research and are looking to participate in paid research opportunities with faculty members within their area of interest.

More to Explore

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