Internship Timeline

by Amy Marie Charland and Mary Ann Lawson

It's never too early to start planning for your internship. The total process-finding an internship and applying and interviewing for it-can take several weeks or even months. Here is a general timeline to assist you with the planning process:


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1.  Research internships
(Three semesters before you want to begin your internship)

  • Talk with your academic adviser and a career services counselor to find out what internship resources are available to you on campus.
  • Write your resume and cover letter.
  • Decide what you would like from your internship. Responsibilities? Compensation? Experience?
  • Attend job fairs to find out about internship opportunities.
  • Start networking with everyone you know.
  • Define where you would like to do your internship. City? Corporation? Industry?
  • Start researching internship opportunities. Obtain general information about the company, internship programs, contact people and deadlines.

2.  Apply for internships
(Two semesters before you intern)

  • Apply online or by whatever method the company requires.
  • Practice your interviewing skills. Schedule a mock interview with your career services office.

3.  Interview and accept an internship
(One semester before your internship)

  • Complete an application for each company where you would like to intern.
  • Interview with employers.
  • Send a thank-you letter to each employer who gives you an opportunity to interview.
  • Accept an internship offer.

Good luck!

Courtesy of the National Association of Colleges and Employers.

Experiential Education leads to more opportunities

Experiential Education is term describing the various opportunities in which students may get on-the-job skills through hands-on experience. Considered one of the most important hiring criteria for employers seeking college gradates, students are encouraged to complete at least one experience prior to graduation.

The following are types of experiential education.

Micro-Internships: Micro-Internships are short-term, paid, professional assignments that are similar to those given to new hires or interns. These projects enable students to demonstrate skills, explore career paths, and build their networks as they seek the right full-time role. Unlike traditional internships, Micro-Internships can take place year-round, typically range from 5 to 40 hours of work, and are due between one week and one month after kick-off. Micro-Internships are used by companies ranging from those in the Fortune 100 to emerging start-ups, and go across departments including sales, marketing, technology, HR, and finance.

FSU Micro-Internships are facilitated via the Parker Dewey platform, which connects Career Launchers with Companies in need of support.  Visit FSU's page on Parker Dewey to sign up and get started.  For more information contact the Career & Professional Development Center, 110 Pullen Hall.

Forage: Forage is a free, open access, virtual platform designed for students looking to obtain practical work experience through company endorsed programs. It gives students free access to virtual experience programs with world-leading companies like  JP Morgan Chase, Accenture, BCG, and Deloitte. Each program takes 5-6 hours to complete and is self-paced. 

Co-ops: A cooperative education experience is generally completed by a student over more than one semester. It includes work assignments related to the participant's academic and career interests. Co-op students are almost always paid, and their work is considered productive to the employer. Most co-op programs involve some sort of academic credit.

Internships: An internship is typically a one-time work or service experience done by a student who has attained at least some academic preparation in a professional field. The student--who can be an advanced undergraduate or graduate student--works in a professional setting under the supervision of at least one practicing professional. Many internships offer pay, but quite a few do not. Most are done for academic credit.

Practicums: A practicum is generally a one-time work or service experience done by a student as part of an academic class. Some practicums offer pay, but many do not. Almost all are done for academic credit.

Externships/Job Shadowing Experiences: An externship or job shadowing experience allows a student to spend between a day and several weeks observing a professional on the job. Such experiences are unpaid and generally not done for academic credit. (definitions courtesy of CareerPlanit)

Many organizations offer such experiences. Sometimes all it takes is for you to inquire. An organization that does not offer these as standard practice, may consider it if they can be convinced that it will be mutually beneficial.

Experiential Education Assistance at FSU:

  • Visit Career Services and talk with a career counselor about your goals for experiential education, preparing applications and your resume, and identifying sites.
  • Talk with your Academic Advisor or Internship Coordinator in your FSU academic department.
  • Road Trip Nation: Today, Roadtrip Nation has become a movement of students from college campuses across the country and a generation of individuals who are setting out to define their own roads in life. Find people who love what they do and ask them "How did you get to be where you are today?"

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