An IU Day Special: Internships are a Crucial Part of the College Experience

The Walter Center for Career Achievement offers a unique vision of career development for students of the arts and sciences — one that includes helping each student land that first job after college.

We’ve found that students who are able to pursue internships are at an incredible advantage when the time comes to find employment after graduation. Completing an internship empowers students to learn about themselves and their career ambitions, as well as gain valuable skills and experience while establishing important connections in their industries.

That’s part of the reason why over 70 percent of arts and sciences students complete an internship before taking that next step after graduation.

NACE, the National Association of Colleges and Employers, reports that students are much more likely to receive full-time offers after completing internship experience, in addition to higher starting salaries. Internships are also an important of the self-discovery process students undergo when deciding which careers to pursue.

“We actually start pushing for students to have either formal internships or informal work experiences as soon as possible, because it essentially gives them more concrete examples of what they do and don’t like,” said Justin Zuschlag, Senior Associate Director of Career Education.

These meaningful experiences while at IU are essential for securing meaningful experiences after graduation. But, don’t just take our word for it — hear first-hand experiences from arts and sciences students.

Joshua Lee, B.A. ’19, Linguistics

Joshua Lee’s career path has not been straight and narrow. He’s an international student from Seoul, South Korea and after his freshman year as an English major in 2013, he had to temporarily leave to serve in the South Korean military. After returning to campus in 2015, he has since changed his major to linguistics.

Lee has been interning in the Department of Second Language Studies, Second Language psycholinguistics lab for two years. This lab is devoted to the study of how second-language learners learn to perceive, articulate and encode the sound system of the new language. Recently, Lee has been tracking audio and visual stimuli through EEG testing. He says working at the lab has been his motivation for applying to dual masters/doctoral programs, and he attributes career coaching from Walter Center as the reason why he has been accepted to two programs with full-ride scholarships.

 

Maggie Collins, B.A. ’19, Psychology

Maggie Collins started her journey with the Walter Center as a junior starting to think about applying to graduate programs. She found her internship experience to be monumental in helping her decide what her next step was going to be. She’s recently accepted a spot in a dual masters/doctoral program.

“I think the Walter Center gives you a lot of resources to kind of harness opportunities and makes you aware of them, which I think is honestly the biggest struggle with people in career development — not knowing what to utilize in terms of getting ‘there.'” Collins said. “The work experiences that I’ve had in the Bloomington community have given me a lot of experiences to build off of.”

Collins has been interning as a Behavioral Health Technician for Centerstone, a mental health and counseling non-profit agency.

 

Landon New, B.A. ’21, Geography

Landon New isn’t a traditional college student who entered university right after high school. He served in the United States military for three years, worked various odd-jobs and started out his secondary education at Ivy Tech Community College before eventually deciding to transfer to Indiana University. He’s currently in the middle of completing a year-long internship with Sustain IU, a program through the Office of Sustainability, where he is helping complete a university-wide waste audit. New has a couple of years left in his undergraduate education and hopes to find more internship opportunities before graduating and going on to study environmental law.

 

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By Maureen Langley
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