Kellen Phillips '18 (Biology) at her internship at the Randwick Equine Centre in Randwick, Australia, June 2017. She is photographed with her favorite patient, a Warmblood colt. Photograph by Megan Bartels.

Internships are learning experiences that integrate academic preparation and skills with professional work experience. Students are offered the opportunity to gain career-related work experience and receive mentoring from professionals in the field. Internships help students to increase their marketability to employers upon graduation.

There are many benefits to completing an internship, including

  • Gaining practical experience
  • Testing career interests
  • Developing career-specific skills
  • Enhancing resume with relevant work experience
  • Building a professional network of industry contacts
  • Improving self-esteem and confidence

Where do I begin?

Begin by determining when and where you would like to complete an internship. To help with assessing your interests, values, and skills, use our FOCUS-2 interactive survey.

Develop a resume that highlights your skills and qualifications. Have your resume reviewed by a staff member from the Career Development Program (CDP). 

Search and apply for internships through Handshake. You may also contact Career Development to discuss strategies for locating internships.

If you want to complete an internship for course credit, discuss the class and requirements with your faculty advisor at least one semester in advance.

Pathway to internships …

1) Get on Board

  • Visit the Lighthouse to learn about internships
  • Start to build your resume
  • Professionalize your online presence
  • Complete Focus-2
  • Pursue opportunities for volunteer or work experience
  • Join a campus organization and become a leader

2) Map a Route

  • Volunteer
  • Undertake a shadowing experience
  • Complete an externship
  • Work with CDP staff to lay out career development plan
  • Participate in the Lighthouse’s CDP workshops
  • Develop a resume
  • Join honors societies

3) Explore New Worlds

  • Research possible internships
  • Take on leadership roles in campus organizations
  • Lead a major volunteer project
  • Practice interview skills with VWU’s CDP staff

4) Set Sail

  • Undertake an internship
  • Apply to national internship programs
  • Make professional contacts
  • Research potential employers
  • Attend job fairs
  • Apply for Teach for America