Do at least one career-enhancing experience each academic year
You can do a no-credit internship any time during your college experience. Whether you are a freshman or a recent graduate you can benefit by doing an internship. Imagine what your options might be upon graduation if you do several internships!
Because there are no criteria or requirements setup by the college for a no-credit internship you are free to craft your own learning experience. There is no tuition fee or registration process. The only connection with the college is that the college can help you with the process of finding the internship. The Center for Calling & Career and many of your faculty are happy to help you find an internship.
Exploratory Experiences & Professional Development Internships
EXPLORATORY EXPERIENCE is very useful in your freshman and sophomore years. It can be an internship, job, job-shadowing or volunteer experience that allows you to check out a career field without needing to have alot of previous experience or education. to qualify. You are purposefully taking a position to be around others who might be doing something you would like to do.
EXAMPLES: If you are thinking of being a veterinarian then work in a stable; if a librarian volunteer to reshelve books; if an accountant then find a night auditor at a hotel or an account payable position anywhere; if law enforcement then volunteer for the local police force, work for a security company or become a volunteer fire fighter. In all these cases you are placing yourself in a position to meet others in the profession or gain some very practical skills to build upon.
PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT INTERNSHIP is a NO-CREDIT equivalent to an academic internship. Some employers seek interns, but do not require it to be taken for credit.
Use this type of internship BEFORE or AFTER graduation to intentionally strengthen or build your skill sets, to enhance your professional profile and develop your network contacts. Look for an experience that an employer would view as a relevant.
Doing 2 or more of these before you graduate can significantly improve your employment prospects upon graduation.
Active engagement in a No-Credit internship should help you in the following ways:
Improve your Self-Awareness You can use an internship to help you learn more about your own strengths/weaknesses, interests, communication styles, and work preferences. You can seek feedback from co-workers. Interns are often mentored by a seasoned professional.
Explore Career Options Explore and clarify career options by observing and working with a variety of professionals. Use the internship experience to conduct informational interviews. You can also
Develop Professional Network Connections The people you meet during your internship experience are more likely to be connected to your chosen field of interest. And of course they are connected to others. You could join a professional association while an intern and then continue your membership. If you take the time to maintain your network connections you would be surprised how much easier it is to find a job.
Apply your education in a real-world setting An internship can help you see the relevance of your education.
Gain relevant skills and knowledge You can intentionally seek an internship that will put new, valuable tools in your tool belt. You could get trained on certain software or a piece of equipment. You could learn to supervise others or manage a project. You could maintain a social media site or handle a complicated audit. It is not only the gaining of specific skills, but also the honing of your ability to learn new skills that is so valuable to employers.
Gain quantifiable work experience By doing multiple internships you can really document the hours of relevant work experience. Wouldn’t it be nice to graduate with 1–2 years of relevant work experience?
Grow in maturity and confidence There is no substitute for experience. You meet a deadline. You solve a problem. You make a mistake and learn from it. There is no substitute for experience. With experience comes the confidence to meet the next deadline or solve the next problem.
Grow in your ability to integrate your faith in the workplace
Become a self-directed, life-long learner Taking ownership of your learning experience can enhance all of the above.
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