Liberal arts students have a diverse set of skills that are in high demand by employers: the ability to communicate ideas and make knowledgeable decisions, critically analyze data and situations, adapt to increasing change in technology and professional trends, and work with others to solve problems. To help you identify and transfer the skills you are learning in the classroom to the work environment, all students in the College of Arts and Science are encouraged to complete at least one internship experience prior to graduation.
Internships promote academic, career, and personal development, and include benefits such as:
- gaining professional work experience and industry knowledge
- developing a professional network
- determining/confirming an appropriate career path
- practicing communication and teamwork skills
- developing workplace skills in order to build a strong resume
- providing evidence of reliablity and initiative
It’s never too early to start thinking about and planning for your first internship!
Internships typically last the duration of one semester (8–16 weeks), and students can expect internships to include an intentional learning agenda with established learning objectives, observation, reflection, evaluation and assessment. Internships may be paid or unpaid, part-time or full-time, and you may choose to or be required to receive academic credit for your experience.
Where Do I Find an Internship?
There are a variety of ways to identify appropriate internships. The more time you put into your search, the more likely you are to find the best opportunity for you. Below are resources to help you get started.
Can be used to search for jobs, internships, career fairs, employer campus visits, etc.
Connections may know of opportunities and can put in a good word for you. Use Social Media to your advantage, and develop your own personal brand by following industries and liking their posts.
Most career fairs on campus are open to all majors, so seek out employers while they are on campus. All fairs, campus visits, interviews, etc are posted on Handshake. With 150-200 employers at most fairs, it is important to do research on employers prior to each fair.
Employer Campus Visits
Information sessions are a great way to make an in-person contact with businesses of interest (see Handshake for a list of upcoming campus visits).
Contact Organizations Directly
Do your research, and if an organization does not currently offer internships, reach out directly and pitch your own idea for an internship, share your skills and qualifications, and explain why you are interested in working for them.
Plan to volunteer during your Thanksgiving, winter or spring break with an agency of interest. Whether ringing bells out front, making copies, or greeting clients, this is a great way to get noticed as a future intern.
Visit with a professor about contacts he or she has in your area of interest.
Use Your Networks
Let friends, family, and contacts know what you are searching for and share your resume.
Join Professional Organizations in Your Field
Want to Know More?
What qualifies as an internship?
- Dedicated supervisor/mentor
- Established learning objectives agreed to by student, supervisor and instructor
- Experiences connected directly to your career goals or field of study
- Agreed upon start and end date
What does not qualify as an internship?
- Continuing work in a position you already hold (unless additional responsibilities are added)
- Working for a family member
- Telecommuting is not encouraged, but in some cases will be approved
Informational interviews are a great way to learn about others' career path. The Informational Interview Questions PDF explains what they are and offers a list of questions to get you started.
To learn more about creating a Handshake account or to sign up for a hands-on workshop, visit MUConnect.
Visit the Career Center for help with resume reviews, cover letter assistance, and interviewing techniques.
Contact Julia Parcell
A&S internship coordinator
or stop by 105 Lowry Hall for more information