What is an internship?

Your internship can provide a great environment for you to find a Mentor who can help you learn about your field of interest based on his/her own experiences and professional connections.

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An internship (full-time/part-time) is a real world experience related to your career goals and interests. It may, but does not have to be related /connected to your academic major or minor. Internships can be done during the academic semester and/or summer. There are several varieties of internships: some are paid, some are not and some offer credit towards graduation.
Whether off-campus or on-campus, an internship is a trained and supervised experience in a professional setting. It is essential for students to be aware that while a volunteer experience may not be considered an internship to many, it has the backing of an internship in which the student is learning and gaining essential experience
Benefits of Internships
An internship offers you a chance to learn and discover different elements that may interest you in any area.  It can also be the deciding factor that best predicts if this field is something you would really be interested in pursuing as a future career choice.
Career Competitive Edge
With today’s job market being highly competitive, you will need to make yourself stand out amongst the rest. Students who have completed internships obtain employment more quickly following graduation. It also looks great on your resume! Although you may occasionally have to make coffee or file papers, an internship is a great opportunity to gain real world experience and to get your foot in the door.
Career Exploration and Decision-Making
Internships offer you a chance to learn and discover. You will never buy a car without a test drive first, right? Then you will never know if a particular career is right for you until you take it for a test drive. You may find out that your dream job really isn’t what you expected. You may even discover a new interest you never knew you had.
Networking and Professional Connections
Did you know that 80% of the jobs available out there are NOT advertised?  Your internship can provide a great environment for you to find a Mentor who can help you learn about your field of interest based on his/her own experiences and professional connections.  Take the time, when appropriate, to ask the professionals at your internship site questions about their job responsibilities and their career journey.  In addition, if you take your internship seriously, are reliable, and perform your job well, you increase your chances of receiving outstanding professional references for future employers.  Plus, due to the professional relations/rapport you have built, you could be personally recommended for upcoming job opportunities in the department you are currently working in or elsewhere in or outside of your internship site.
Remember, your internship site is place where you can expand the network of people you know – the bigger your network, the more success you can have in your future career – Its not just what you know, its who you know!
Types of Internship

Internships can be done for credit or no credit, paid or unpaid, full-time or part-time, during the semester or during the winter/summer breaks.  The following are procedures regarding credit and non-credit bearing internships as a student at Stony Brook.

Unpaid Internships
Unpaid internships can be found in any industry  In some industries non-paid internships are common (for example entertainment, politics, etc)  An unpaid internship may impress employers because it shows that you are interested in gaining experience, rather than just making some money
Paid Internships
Several internships will offer payment in the form of stipends, travel allowance, or even a salary. The type and size of compensation does not reflect the competitiveness of the internship position. The pay reflects the policies and practices of the organization and industry culture not the quality of the candidate.
Internships for Credit
Internships for academic credit are generally offered through departments under a faculty sponsor.
Non-Credit Internships
Students may also choose to pursue an internship without academic credit at anytime. For non-credit bearing internships there are no deadlines or number of hours required by colleges and universities.


2009-06-19 | EducateNepal


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