What is an internship?
Internships are monitored work experiences that include learning goals and reflection.
- May be part-time or full-time
- May be paid or unpaid
- Last at least 10 weeks long and 10 hours per week
- Are available to all Calvin students who are sophomores or above
- May be for academic credit (completed while taking an internship seminar course at Calvin) or non-credit (completed for experience only)
- Are available fall, spring and summer semester
- Are available to students from all majors offered at Calvin
- Establish a balance between the intern's learning and the work that the organization needs done
Why should I pursue an internship?
- Explore a specific field of interest
- Determine if a career is a good fit
- Obtain practical experience to enhance a resume and improve skills
- Supplement theoretical learning with practical applications
- Build your network with people in the field that interests you
Does internship work count for academic credit?
You may participate in the internship program on a credit or non-credit basis. To receive credit, students must register for an internship seminar course (see list of available internship classes). For-credit internships have academic requirements. Some summer course work is completed on-line.
What's the difference between a job and an internship?
For a work experience to be considered an internship, it should meet the following criteria:
- The intern should be professionally supervised on site
- The internship should be a new learning experience
- The intern should have a deliberate learning agenda going into the experience
- The intern should actively reflect on what he/she is learning through the experience
- Interns are not eligible for unemployment at the conclusion of the internship
Are interns paid?
In the past few years, 70% of Calvin interns have been paid. Pay is often determined by market supply and demand. Typical unpaid internships are in non-profit, sports management, health care, television, political and ministry organizations. Don't rule out an internship because it's not paid. Think long-term: one semester of a part-time, unpaid internship can be invaluable to your career. Find the position that will give you the most relevant experience. Some students maintain a part-time, paid job while doing an unpaid internship.
What is Work-Study?
The federal government provides money to help pay for college students' wages in some on campus and off campus jobs. Your eligibility for Work-Study is related to your finacial situation as determined by the FAFSA form. Calvin has partnerships with many non-profit organizations to offer internship quality, paid, Work-Study opportunities off campus. Work-Study students are paid minimum wage through Calvin's payroll, and non-profit organizations are billed for 25% of their student's wages. To find out more, contact Karen Hollebeek.
Get an Internship
All internships that we know about are posted on CalvinLink. Meet with Beth Cok for additional assistance (email her to set up an appointment).
Additional resources for finding an internship:
- Ask family, friends, and professors for internship possibilities to pursue
- Calvin alumni:
- Use the networking directory in uKnight to search for relevant contacts
- If you're looking for opportunities in another geographical area, check to see if there's a Calvin alumni chapter group that could help
- Networking Professionally Online
Websites of Professional Organizations in Your Field
- Find local chapters of national organizations (such as American Psychological Association, American Society of Mechanical Engineers, Public Relations Society of America, etc).
- Contact the leader of the local chapter to network and attend events.
Contact Companies/Organizations that Interest You
- Don't sit back and wait for an opportunity.
- Go make your own opportunities happen by proposing internships to companies/organizations that interest you.
- Be sure to look on the career sections of their websites to see what opportunities are posted.
- Use local Chambers of Commerce or Business Journals to identify companies to pursue.