What is an internship?

internshipAn internship is a supervised pre-professional learning experience, in which students apply their skills and knowledge in a professional setting. By offering their time, talent, and enthusiasm, interns will contribute to an organization's mission and goals, while gaining valuable skills for the future, and seeing if a career is right for them. Most internships are temporary assignments that last approximately three months up to a year.

How Internships Benefit Careers

An internship is not:

  • A part-time or full-time job that does not specify career related learning strategies and objectives
  • Unsupervised volunteer experience
  • Routine, repetitive clerical tasks

Goals of an internship:

  • Provide students with a full and realistic view of workplace culture and expectations
  • Integrate academic preparation with professional challenges
  • Build confidence and success through internship experiences
  • Encourage contact between DVC students and professionals in their field of interest
  • Help students build professional networks

How does an internship work?

An internship can be a variety of positions, as long as it contributes to the professional development of the student. In order to do this, certain considerations should be taken into account:

First, a position must be set up to fulfill a set of goals for professional development.

Second, an internship must include a system for feedback and communication. Regular feedback sessions should be formally arranged to facilitate consistent supervision, guidance, and constructive criticism on a weekly basis.

Third, an internship position may be either paid or unpaid, depending upon the level of work, and number of hours. It may be short-term, may or may not require you to earn college credit. Some internships are referred to as Service Learning (students work at a community organization-at the end they present a paper or presentation detailing their experiences).

Internship Search Resources

From corporate internships to green to government to nonprofit, the websites below can help students seeking pre-professional experience find the right fit.

Work Experience Education

Work Experience is an academic course that allows you to earn credit for learning that takes place at your job or internship. There are three different COOP courses. Students complete orientation and schedule two teacher meetings per term and can earn up to a total of 16 COOP units while enrolled at DVC. This also enables international (F-1) students to be able to work in off-campus jobs.