Internship Certificate Program
Do you need help securing a hands-on college supervised internship? Maybe you don't meet the requirements for your academic department's internship program, but desire hands-on experience? Do you want another internship, but you don't need or can't afford the academic credits? Or, are you are in a credit-bearing internship course offered through your department, and want the professional enrichment offered through this certificate program? Available in spring, summer, and fall, see what Career Services Internship Certificate Program can offer.
Internships for Credit
Have you ever sat in class and thought to yourself, "I would learn this material so much better if I could actually do what we are learning?" Internships are a great way for you to learn by doing. Let the workplace serve as your classroom and reap the benefits of two instructors; the on-site supervisor and your academic instructor. The benefit of doing an internship for credit is the academic guidance and support you receive from your professor who will direct your learning through individualized academic assignments. Internships are available for credit in all majors through your academic department. Eligibility criteria and program requirements differ in each academic department.
Internships: For Credit, Pay, or Unpaid
- If you are doing an internship for credit because it is required by the employer, because you are an international student, or because you would like to receive credit for your internship to go toward the credits you need to graduate, you must register and pay for the appropriate course in your department.
If you are having trouble affording the credits, here are some strategies you can use to discuss the possibility of pay with your employer:
- Offering you a small stipend each week or at the conclusion of your internship
- Paying for transportation costs or lunch
- Paying for your credits
- Reconsider offering you an hourly rate when they learn how much credits cost
You may also refer the employer to the Office of Career Services to learn more about earning internships for credit, what interns typically make per hour, and other ways they can compensate you for your work.
Finding and Preparing for Internships
- Knowing yourself and your chosen career field is easier than you think when you use FOCUS to assess your values, interests, and abilities. Find potential career options right for you, then research to learn about those career options.
- Resumes, Cover Letters, and Interviewing. Be prepared with an employer ready resume, knowledge about how to write a convincing cover letter, and confidence you need to highlight your skills during the interview.
- Virtual job searching is also known as online job searching, but we suggest you start with Career Net, where employers have posted opportunities for NYIT students, or try one of our other recommended job sites.
- Face-to-face job searching means networking with people already working in the field. Review informational interviewing suggestions to learn more about the process.
- Professional associations are a great way to network with professionals and keep informed about current trends in your field.
- On-campus employment and community service are two great ways to build your experience and develop skills.
- Playing Fair: Your rights and responsibilities as a job seeker
Making the Most of Your Internship
Define your learning objectives: how will you know what you got out of your internship? How will you be able to talk to future employers on interviews or while networking about what you did on your internship? By defining learning objectives you will be able to do this easily and also make sure that you are getting the most out of your internship.
SMART approach to setting goals: your goals should be:
T: Time sensitive
1. Objective: Design a commercial building to client specs in one semester
2. How you are going to meet the objective: Use AutoCAD and participate in client meetings
3. How you will know when you have met the objective: Supervisor approves design by end of semester
1. Objective: Develop (concept, web, and print materials) an advertising campaign for a product in one semester
2. How you are going to meet the objective: Work with marketing on developing concept, use guidelines to create one web ad and one print ad
3. How you will know when you have met the objective: Organization begins pitching designs to client by end of semester
1. Objective: Use a particular programming language to develop an HR database in one semester
2. How you are going to meet the objective: Meet with HR to get list of pertinent information to include in database, test with employees from 1975
3. How you will know when you have met the objective: Database performs 95% of HR department testing by end of semester
Meet with your mentor, the faculty member running your internship course, or the internship supervisor on a weekly basis to ensure that you are working to meet these goals or to adjust the goals.
While on the job there are many activities you can engage in to help you learn more about yourself, the company, and perhaps get another internship or full-time offer from the company
- Informational interviewing
- Meet weekly with your supervisor to discuss your progress
Journal your experience. Writing about your experience each week will help you make the most of your internship by reflecting on your activities, how they contributed to your professional development, and what next steps you can take. For each journal entry, focus on 3 sections:
- Description of what you did during your internship this week. This section should be different each week. Pay attention to significant detail. This section should be objective.
- Your feelings, thoughts, judgments, and what you can learn about yourself and your assumptions from your experience. What made you uncomfortable? What surprised or challenged you? Did you stretch your comfort zone or hide within in? Discuss how your experience has influenced your understanding of your internship organization, how it operates, and the issues your company deals with, services it provides, or products it makes. Make sure you answer the questions: why? what else? what next?
Connect your experience with your major, your classes, and your field. Do not write about what you did and do not focus on your reactions (as you did in the previous two sections). Demonstrate your skill in making connections between your internship experience and your field or major to analyze and illuminate your experience. You should show how your experience illustrates or challenges topics you have studied in your field.
When the internship is over:
- Send a thank you letter to your supervisor and any other people at the organization or at NYIT that helped you make the most of your internship. This is an important step to conclude the experience and show your appreciation. You can contact these people in the future to tell them how you are doing with your studies and about other internships you secured or your full-time job after graduation.
- Get a recommendation or reference letter: A week or two before the conclusion of your internship ask your supervisor to provide a letter of recommendation or reference. Have them e-mail it to you and print a few copies on company letterhead. You can use these letters during your next internship/job search.
Plan to stay in touch: Make sure you get contact information from your supervisors and colleagues you worked closely with. You can contact your supervisor or colleagues in the future to tell them how you are doing with your studies and about other internships you secure or your full-time job after you graduate. Make sure that you tell them that they can ask you about other students they may want to hire as interns or ways they can connect with NYIT. Keep these people in your loop by contacting them periodically by e-mail, by phone, or in person. They are valuable members of your professional network!
While studying in the U.S., there are federal government regulations you must adhere to. Learn more about the steps you must take as an international student applying for an academic internship.