What is an internship?

Internships are formal opportunities to work with an employer in a field that interests you. It’s a time to grow your network and gain meaningful experience, while getting a glimpse of what life would be like in a particular career, so you can make informed choices that lead to long-term career fulfillment.

But, when is the right time to take on an internship? Use this handy chart to help determine when you’re ready.

What level of experience am I ready for?
If you think:Try this:Commitment:
“I have no clue if I like this field, but I’m interested.”Job shadow, Informational interviewLow
“I think I like this field, but I haven’t tried it yet.”Community volunteer, Student organization, Part-time job, Faculty researchMedium
“I have some exposure, but I need more to make sure it’s a good fit.”InternshipHigh
A student writing on a display of sticky notes
A student using a microscope
A student operating a stage light