Internship FAQ's

What is an internship?

An internship is a short-term volunteer or paid job in a professional-level occupation. It is an opportunity to learn an occupation by doing it, under the guidance of an experienced person in the field. An internship can be a part of an academic program where students can earn class credit or it can be done independent of classes.

What are the qualifications for an internship?

These vary widely, depending upon the hiring organization and the work to be performed. Qualifications may include knowledge in a specific area, such as accounting, or specific skills, such as computer software. For many internships, no specific knowledge or skill is required. All employers, however, are looking for motivated candidates who are willing to learn quickly and work hard.

What are the benefits of an internship?

The benefit for the employer is to get needed work done without hiring full-time, continuing employees and to get it done at a lower cost, or in some cases, without any direct payment of money.

With internship experience, you will:

  • Gain valuable work experience
  • Learn about an industry and job function
  • Develop new skills
  • Clarify your career goals
  • Strengthen your resume
  • Establish professional contacts

How do I find an internship?

  • Register and view posted internships on College Central.
  • Job fairs - employers often use job fairs to identify with students for internships as well as for full-time employment.
  • Contact the chamber of commerce of the city where you want to work to obtain information about local employer.
  • Network - talk to your friends, family, instructors, and professionals in your field of study to let them know you are searching for an internship.
  • Target a company of interest and find out if they have internships.
  • Check with your academic program coordinator or instructor for possible internship information they may have received directly from employers.
  • Find books using the MCC library catalog, using “internships” as the word for your search.
  • Search websites devoted to internships.

How long will an internship last?

The length of an internship varies. Internships may range from one semester or a summer in length to years. In order to find this out, you will have to read the description of the internship in resource books, or ask the internship coordinator at the organization where you want to apply.

Many not-for-profit organizations are looking for interns who will work without pay. They are willing; however, to provide fringe benefits such as assistance in finding a job in their field, letters of recommendation, filling out forms to document that your work deserves college credit, or products/services which they supply.

For-profit companies typically pay either an hourly wage or a percentage of a full-time, entry-level salary in proportion to how many hours per week you work.

Which occupations offer internships?

An internship opportunity can be found or created in almost all professional-level occupations.  You would identify available ones by:  using resource books, such as “Peterson's Internships,” searching web sites with the descriptors "internship" plus the field of your interest (business and technology, communications, creative arts, environment, international relations, or public affairs).