WHY DO AN INTERNSHIP?

General benefit:

  • Internships provide students with a learning mechanism that encourages and inspires them to realize a clearer career path, and therefore make the most of precious time needed to establish necessary skills for global competitiveness and future career advancement.

Internships as an extension of UM’s ‘global university’ philosophy:

  • Today’s competitive job market increasingly requires students to offer an international perspective.

  • Internships provide students with exposure to global mindsets influential in today’s globalized job market.  There is more than one way to accomplish work, and we can learn alternative ways from other cultures; one of the best ways for students to do so is through internships.

  • Internships provide an opportunity for UM international students to establish professional relationships in their home countries, thus preparing students for when they graduate and enter the job market. 

HOW AND WHERE TO FIND AN INTERNSHIP?

UM resources:

Internships can be found a variety of ways through the resources at UM.  First, students are encouraged to consult with and express interest to their advisors at the department and program levels within the College of Arts & Sciences.  Second, students can present their updated resume and a description of future career interests directly to ASPIRE representatives at aspire@miami.edu .  Third, students can register and create a profile on the Toppel Career Center’s Handshake, which matches employers and other organizations with registered candidates.  Fourth, with the approval of a faculty supervisor or the Toppel Internship Program, students can design their own internship through contacts they make on their own. 

INTERNSHIP CONSIDERATIONS

Be informed and prepared:

  • Establish clear reasons and goals for doing an internship

  • In advance, outline areas of interest and skills you wish to develop in the internship

  • Consider the options and differences between paid and for-credit internships

  • Most internships require students to provide their own transportation to and from the site, which may limit the scope of possibilities for those who rely on public transportation

  • For those interested in finding an internship in a different city or country, consider cost of living expenses

  • In the case of for-credit internships, it is important that students consult in advance with their academic advisors at the department and program levels of the College to ensure that requirements are met.  Alternatively, non-degree credit can be earned through the Toppel Internship Program.

  • Update your resume and present it for critiques, and hone your interviewing skills through the services of Toppel Career Center

  • Network within your department or program in the College, through events held on campus, through events held out in the off-campus community, in order to develop social contacts.

  • Reach out to Hurricane alumni via the UM Alumni Association on Facebook and LinkedIn 

INTERNSHIP TYPES

  • Artistic/creative internships: Artistic and creative internships often involve Illustration; photography; editing; and branding through print, digital, video, and social media. 

  • NGO and volunteerism internships: Such internships draw students with a wide range of talents, and involve fundraising; participation in outreach programs; caring for those in need of specific NGO services; and community organizing and networking. 

  • Research oriented internships: In the research internship setting, students have the unique opportunity to work with data, to organize, and to analyze data for practical reasons.  This experience helps students realize the importance of empirical data collection and analysis required to test hypotheses that are ultimately used to predict future outcomes, and more specifically to make policy recommendations.  Research internships offer a mechanism for undergraduates to collaborate with graduate level PhD researchers, and to hone their own research interests. 

  • Public policy internships: Place students in settings where they perform research and sometimes have the opportunity to ‘ghost author’ articles in preparation for their own careers. 

  • Innovation (startup/ small medium enterprise (SME)) internships: Such internships foster the entrepreneurial skills of students where they might design marketing strategies and invent a new product inspired by their academic coursework and skills training. 

TIPS FOR A SUCCESSFUL INTERNSHIP

Plan ahead:

  • The most fundamental tip is for students to begin thinking about doing internships, as early on as possible in their undergraduate experience, simply because so much planning goes into the search and internship identification process.  It is never too soon to get started with the internship process, and students should therefore set out early on, to become actively involved in the University Community to the extent that it helps them identify future career interests, passions, and purposes.

  • Many rising sophomores intern over the summer between their freshmen and sophomore years.  To do so enhances their resume for future internship opportunities, in addition to the possibility of being asked to return for a future tour of duty with the same organization.

  • Rising juniors and seniors tend to be most prepared to gain specialized practical, hands-on experience in an internship to which they offer theoretical and technical skills learned on campus.  The same standard applies to graduate students at the Masters and Doctoral levels.

  • A second important tip is for students to establish in advance, a work plan and work schedule, in coordination with both their faculty and internship supervisors, as soon as the hiring terms have been confirmed and agreed upon, to avoid any potential misunderstandings.

  • Finally, dedication to the internship and courtesy and respect for co-workers is another extremely important tip for having a successful internship.  In the internship setting, it is important to conduct oneself with curiosity, humility, and with a clear set of goals for accomplishment in mind.  Moreover, it is very important to continuously maintain open lines of communication among co-workers, the internship supervisor, and the faculty supervisor.