Applying your interests, skills, and values in a changing world
Experiential learning is an essential part of the UD education, and the OPCD can assist
you in finding opportunities to learn outside the classroom.
Internships, part-time employment, and volunteer experiences allow you to investigate
your abilities, skills, interests, and values in a practical environment. You can
identify professional areas of interest and build experience and credibility as a
future employee while developing the knowledge and competence to perform well.
In addition to learning valuable new skills and gaining practical experience, internships
also provide you with 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, must meet certain labor law criteria (see Internship Programs under the Fair Labor Standards Act)
- 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 is also important for career development and can help
build your resume:
- Volunteer work
- Service projects
- Summer or part-time jobs
- Study abroad
Academic credit for approved internships, part-time employment, and volunteer experience
during the academic school year can be obtained through various University of Dallas
academic departments and the OPCD (course number 3V57). All internships requiring
academic credit are subject to approval. See internship and volunteer course credit.
All University of Dallas students who meet academic performance standards and may
be eligible to earn up to six hours of upper-level elective course credit through
internship experience. Students may also be eligible to earn course credit for community
volunteer services (course number GST1106).
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.
Where do UD Students Engage in Experiential Learning?
Below are examples of recent internships held by UD students (majors indicated parenthetically):
- Development Intern, Dallas Contemporary Museum (Art History)
- Research Intern, Retina Foundation (Biology, Education)
- Public Affairs Intern, US Department of State (Economics, English)
- Advertising Intern, Moroch Partners LP (Business)
- Undergraduate Research Assistant / REU at Johns Hopkins (Chemistry)
- Real Estate Intern, United Development Funding United Mortgage Trust (Economics, Finance)
- Contributing Writer, Dallas Morning News (English)
- Management Trainee, Enterprise (Business, Economics)
- Dallas Holocaust Museum (History)
- Bilingual Operations Intern, Dallas Goethe Center (Modern Languages)
- Policy Analysis Intern, National Center for Policy Analysis (Philosophy)
- Research Assistant, REU at Virginia Tech University (Physics)
- Research Intern, George W. Bush Presidential Library - US National Archives (History,
- Son-Rise Autism Treatment Intern (Psychology)
- Intern, Good Shepherd Catholic Community (Theology)
- Conservation Intern, Dallas Zoo (Biology)