An internship isn’t just any temporary job. It can be a bridge to your life’s work or an experiment in a career that interests you. Maybe you’ve heard a lot about internships from parents, counselors, or a co-worker who used one to transition from another field. You might be wondering, “What’s in it for me?”
If you’ve got questions about whether interning is the right way to achieve your career goals, this is the place to start. We’ll begin with the basic definition and move to answering many of the most common questions people have about taking on the role of an intern. As you continue through this section, you will also learn more about our program and if the Agricultural and Natural Resources Policy Internship Program is a right fit for you.
What is an Internship?
The Random House Dictionary defines the word as:
“Any official or formal program to provide practical experience for beginners in an occupation or profession.”
The modern concept of internships essentially springs from the medieval apprenticeship, in which skilled laborers (often craftsmen) would teach a young person their trade and, in exchange, that person would agree to work for the teacher for a certain length of time.
The main difference between an apprenticeship and an internship is that internships are more exploratory. You’re not bound to work for your employer after the internship is over (although many interns do receive job offers). If you start early enough to do a few internships throughout college, you can use the first ones to get a feel for what career you’d like to pursue and the later ones to build your experience.
Most American internships are work experience internships — essentially on-the-job training in a field that the student or young worker wants to learn more about. But there are also research internships, more common in scientific fields, in which a higher-level student examines a particular topic on behalf of a business before producing a written study or presentation.
Though employment isn’t guaranteed at the end of an internship, many employers use internships as a way to train and evaluate future employees.
Articles About Internships
21 Ways to Make the Most of Your Internship | Huffington Post | July 29, 2015
Study suggests it’s the extras that help you find a great job after college | USA Today | May 11, 2015
College is worth it if you have these six experiences | Quartz | April 17, 2015
Students with poor grades may benefit the most from internships | The Chronicle of Higher Education | December 3, 2014
Are internships the secret weapon for hiring young talent into government? | FCW | November 4, 2014
The internship: Generation i | The Economist | September 6, 2014