Internships offer a valuable two-way exploratory relationship between students and employers. Interns gain functional industry experience, acquire and refine skills, and make meaningful connections. Employers have an opportunity to evaluate their performance and potential as a future member of their team. The importance of non-academic experience can not be understated. More employers are demanding work experience or community involvement in addition to relevant coursework from new graduates. Having an internship, leadership role in a student organization, volunteer work or other involvement experiences gives graduates an edge over other candidates in a competitive job market.
The good news is that internships come in a variety of lengths and formats. They may be part-time or full-time; last a year, semester, or by project; they may be paid or unpaid or require that the student receive course credit for the internship. Depending on your interests and availability, there is an internship opportunity waiting for you.
Finding an Internship
- All internships, career positions, and CBE Placement Services events are sent to current students and recent alumni. The emails are targeted to those students who qualify. If you aren't receiving them send an email to CBEPlacement@calstatela.edu stating that you may not be on the list.
- Follow us on LinkedIn. We post the notices of internships, jobs and events from the email blast on our LinkedIn page.
- The university Career Development Center job and event board CareerLink posts additional internships, jobs, workshops and events.
- Visit company websites. Many large firms have established internship programs. Requirements and application periods are frequently posted on their website.
- Some links on our Job Resources page include internship opportunities.
Check out the Internship Program with all details regarding companies, duration, deadlines and application process.
Internships for Course Credit
Most employers require that you are an active student at the university to participate in an internship. This means that you must be in good academic standing. Some employers require that students receive course credit for their internship, which is different. This means that the student must be enrolled in an internship course during the semester of the internship and receive credit to participate. These tend to be unpaid internships. If the employer requires that you receive course credit you must meet with the Placement Services Coordinator to file the necessary paperwork at least one month prior to the start of the semester that the internship will take place.
The steps involve:
- Completing a Cooperative Education Application
- Getting a faculty course sponsor
- Obtaining signatures from the sponsoring faculty and the employer
- Submitting the signed application to the Placement Services Coordinator 1 month prior to the beginning of the semester
The employer must also complete the following steps to become an Employer Partner. Once established, companies maintain their status for five years.
The steps include:
- Complete a Cooperative Education Internship survey
- Provide evidence of insurance for the location of the internship (sample)
- Sign a Service Learning Agreement
Both the student and employer steps must be completed before a permit for the student to enroll in the course can be issued. With so many steps involved it's important that you meet with the Placement Coordinator early to ensure that the process is completed on time.
Internships and International Students
Not all employers can offer internships to all types of students. Many large corporations or those working with various government entities are restricted from hiring international students as interns. Check out Resources for International Students for help with finding internships, other resume-building options and career resources.
Tips for Applying
- Treat your internship application as you would for a career position. Create a resume and cover letter, establish a LinkedIn profile, and research the company you are applying to prior to applying.
- If you need help with these skills, review the resources on our Career Resources page then make an appointment with the Placement Coordinator.
- Start Early! Many employers start looking for summer interns up to a year in advance. If you’re interested in an internship that requires course credit you’ll need to submit paperwork and request approvals a month in advance.