Internships, part-time employment, and volunteer experiences allow students to investigate
their abilities, skills, interests, and values in a practical environment. Students
can identify professional areas of interest and build experience and credibility as
future employees while developing knowledge and competencies requisite to performing
In addition to learning valuable new skills and gaining practical experience, internships
also provide students an opportunity to explore a field of interest before "officially"
What is an Internship?
- An internship is a monitored work or service experience that allows students to gain
hands on experience in an occupational field. The structure of an internship can vary
depending on the organization. The following are common characteristics of an internship:
- Typically lasts about three months and occurs during the summer, fall, or spring semester
- May be part-time or full-time
- May be paid or unpaid
- If unpaid, may require the student to obtain academic credit and must meet certain
criteria from a labor-law standpoint
- Interns should be provided with an on-site supervisor/mentor
- Differs from short–term or volunteer work in that it has an intentional "learning
agenda" in a structured environment
- Promotes academic, career and/or personal development.
Remember that internships are just one component of Experiential Education. Participation
in the following activities are also important tools for career development and can
help build your resume.
- Volunteer work
- Summer Service projects
- Summer or part-time jobs
- Study abroad
Academic credit is often required by employers if an internship is unpaid. Academic
credit for summer internships and part-time local internships during the academic
school year can be obtained through various University of Dallas academic departments.
All University of Dallas students may also earn up to six hours of upper-level elective
course credit through internship experience. Students should contact Julie Janik regarding requirements and deadlines. All internships requiring academic credit are
subject to approval.
The internship search process can take 6-9 months and requires several key steps.
- It's important to take the time to Explore Majors and Careers in order to identify areas of interest.
- When offered, attend OPCD, student organization, and departmental events to hear employers
talk about various industries, careers, and internship opportunities.
- Review online career libraries such CareerLink and Indeed.
- Resumes, Cover Letters, and Interviews are an important part of the internship search.
- Review Expand Your Internship Search for multiple internship databases that provide
additional geographic locations and opportunities, particularly in the arts and sciences.
- Check application deadlines far in advance and learn about the recruitment process
for your area of interest. Make an appointment to meet with a counselor to help you customize your search and learn more about the
recruitment process in your area of interest.
- If you know you are interested in a particular organization, go directly to the Organization's
website to search for openings. If internships are not listed, you might want to develop
your own internship. Speak with a Career Advisor about how to contact the Organization
directly to propose a new internship.
- Keep track of all of your applications, interactions with recruiters and contacts,
interviews, and necessary follow-up.
First Years & Sophomores
Identifying internship opportunities for first-year students and sophomores can be
challenging. Students having difficulty finding opportunities should talk to an OPCD
Advisor regarding how to pinpoint opportunities and effectively build a resume.