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.
Get an Internship
All internships (except Comenius Scholars positions) 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
- See the national internship listings in CareerInsider.
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.
Comenius Scholars =
Paid internship with a non-profit
+ credit seminar course
Apply now for fall 2015! Deadline is April 20
The Comenius Scholars Program is a paid, for-credit internship program for liberal arts students to work in non-profit organizations. The program is limited to 25 students per semester.
Interns are paid at least a $500 stipend for 120-140 hours of work over the semester. Some employers will pay more than $500. If you are work-study eligible and select a work-study eligible internship site, you will be paid minimum wage ($7.40/hour) through Calvin's payroll.
A Comenius Scholars internship will help you build a strong resume, deepen your understanding of how non-profit organizations run and assist you in determining your vocational calling.
Read an article about the impact of Comenius Scholars on Roosevelt Park Ministries.
Who should apply?
- students from liberal arts majors (e.g. philosophy, history, religion, IDS, foreign languages, etc, not professional programs like nursing, education and engineering)
- students whose major does not already offer a local credit internship course option - see list of current credit internship courses
- students whose GPA is 3.0 or above preferred
- juniors and seniors are preferred
- students with a career goal to be a leader in non-profit administration
- 3 credit hour seminar course, IDIS 385, taught by Mark Fackler of the CAS department
- includes guest speakers from the non-profit community teaching about their areas of expertise
Once you're accepted...
- you will be required to complete approximately one hour of training on resume writing, interviewing, etc.
- a list of possible internships will be made available to you, and you will apply for those that interest you
- you can also find your own position; however, it will need to be approved by the Comenius program coordinators and director, and internships on Calvin's campus do NOT qualify
- you'll work at your internship site 120-140 hours over the course of the semester and will be paid at least $500, possibly more depending on the employer (employers will indicate pay rate on their internship postings)
- you must arrange your own transportation to and from the internship