Here are some tips to learn more about what you can get from an internship, how to find one, as well as some additional resources to help look for one.
What is an internship?
An internship is an on-site work experience that is either directly related to your major field of study or your career interest. It can be paid or unpaid, and held during the summer or throughout the academic year. Most students intern during the summer and receive payment.
What are some benefits of internships?
An internship gives you the opportunity to:
- Gain valuable work experience before you graduate
- Develop new skills and refine others
- Apply knowledge gained from coursework to on-the-job situations
- Demonstrate work setting accomplishments in your resume
- Reality-test tentative career choices
- Meet and work with professionals, establishing contacts for letters of reference and networking
- Experience new work environments
- Earn money
Can I get academic credit for my internship?
Harvey Mudd College does not offer academic credit for internships. Fortunately, many of our students receive payment.
What if I am an international student?
There are different requirements for international students who wish to intern. These requirements along with instructions on how to apply for CPT can be found on the Harvey Mudd College Curricular Practical Training Request Form (PDF).
What if my question isn’t answered here?
Make an appointment on Handshake to meet with a Career Counselor in person.
How can I get an internship if I have no experience?
Employers value skills developed through academic work, campus jobs, clinic projects, volunteer experiences, extracurricular experiences, or other experiences which demonstrate skills useful in work. Not all of these skills are job-type specific; some of these skills are general, such as communication skills and analytical skills, and can transfer to different settings. On campus student jobs can demonstrate to employers that you have been a successful employee.
When is a good time to start looking for a summer internship?
The Office of Career Services receives internship listings continually. Begin searching in the preceding fall semester and plan on attending the fall and spring career fairs to meet some employers that might be offering internships. Continuing your search during winter break is a good idea. Some deadlines are very early!
How do I find an internship?
The most effective internship searches utilize a variety of different search strategies.
- A great place to start is Handshake.
- Read our weekly newsletter.
- Attend career fair programs with alumni and employers as a way to network.
- Join the HMC Alumni Association LinkedIn Group to network with alumni.
- You may also learn about internship openings through study abroad programs, hometown contacts, professional associations, student organizations, trade magazines, community service/volunteer groups, and your major department office.
Start your search early and seek help from the career center. Have a plan that includes a great resume and cover letter, appropriate follow-up, and good record keeping. Be prepared, open-minded, flexible, and professional. It’s up to you to make all your contacts count!
Don’t let housing needs and worry about competition deter you if you are heading for unfamiliar territory. Universities often rent housing to students working in their city during the summer. Your summer employer may have suggestions for you. Finding suitable housing may not be as difficult nor as expensive as you think.
What can I do to increase my chances of finding a good internship?
In addition to looking at our job listings, diligently networking with people who may have contact suggestions for you, and directly approaching employers of interest, be sure you have put your best effort into writing your resume and are prepared to handle interview questions. Consider being more flexible if you are having difficulty, e.g., can you consider other geographical areas? Make an appointment if you need additional help with your job search.
What salary can I expect?
Salaries vary according to experience and skills required, year in school, type of position, type of employer and location. It is not unusual to find positions ranging from $15 to $45/hour and up (substantially higher for special skills and significant experience).
How many hours can I work as a student?
Most student at Harvey Mudd only intern during the summer; however, some upperclassmen might intern during the academic year. The hours during the summer can vary from full-time from May to August to part-time during the same time period. During the academic year, it isn’t recommended to work more hours than 10 to 15 hours.
In addition to Handshake, you can try these sites:
University of California, Irvine Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program – Large compilation of multidisciplinary off-campus internships and research positions identified by the program name, which is linked to a summary and an official website, if available.
InternshipPrograms – More than 2100 programs listed.
Internmatch – Extensive database of internships online. Also includes many resources (Internship and Industry guides, list of career fairs by state, and discussion forums).
Internbound – Lists only paid opportunities in LA/So Cal, Seattle/Pacific Northwest and Silicon Valley/Bay Area.
International Internship Websites
CDS International – Fellowships and Internships Abroad
DAAD is the German national agency for the support of international academic cooperation. We offer programs and funding for students, faculty, researchers and others in higher education, providing financial support to almost 120,000 individuals per year. We also represent the German higher education system abroad, promote Germany as an academic and research destination, and help build ties between institutions around the world.
Directory of International Internships – A reference guide for Internships with brief descriptions of the internships, including cost and eligibility information as available, and the internship provider’s contact information, including their website. References are made to specific topics and geographical locations listed by country.
EUSA designs and implements high quality, customized academic internship programs that immerse our partners’ students in new professional, social, and linguistic cultures.