What is the benefit of completing an internship?

An internship is the most impactful experience a student can undertake while in college. Internships provide the opportunity to test out a potential industry of interest, meet people in the field, and apply classroom learning in the real world. Set up an appointment with the Career Center to update your resume, work on your cover letter, practice interviewing, and more to make sure you stand out as a candidate.

  • Students who have completed internships have an average higher starting salary than those who did not intern
  • Students who have interned have a shorter full time job search and get more job offers than non-interns
  • 72.5% of employers say, “I prefer to hire candidates with relevant work experience”
  • 60% of employers indicate they prefer experience to be gained from internships/co-ops
  • Internships and employment during college rose to the top of the list as the most heavily weighted attributes considered by employers
  • Employers made full-time offers to 64.8 percent of their interns
  • Internships help you build your resume, professionalism, industry knowledge and your contacts
  • Internships let you test drive a career to see if it is right for you
  • 63% of college grads have completed at least one internship, and many do multiple internships

Based on data from NACE (National Association of Colleges and Employers) 

Summer Housing

UNC Asheville offers on-campus housing during the summer for undergraduate and graduate students who are participating in an internship, co-op, research, or educational summer employment in the Asheville area during the summer months.

For more information, please visit the Intern Housing page with Conference Services.

Internship Agreement Form

To formalize the internship arrangement between the student, employer, and university, it is critical to have all parties sign an internship agreement form. The UNC Asheville Internship Agreement includes the minimum standards required according to the UNC Asheville Internship Policy for Credit-Bearing Courses. Individual departments may choose to add additional requirements.


How is an internship different from a job?

Criteria for an experience to be defined as a internship:

  • The experience must be an extension of the classroom: a learning experience that provides for applying the knowledge gained in the classroom. It must not be simply to advance the operations of the employer or be the work that a regular employee would routinely perform.
  • The skills or knowledge learned must be transferable to other employment settings.
  • The experience has a defined beginning and end, and a job description with desired qualifications.
  • There are clearly defined learning objectives/goals related to the professional goals of the student’s academic coursework.
  • There is supervision by a professional with expertise and educational and/or professional background in the field of the experience.
  • There is routine feedback by the experienced supervisor.
  • There are resources, equipment, and facilities provided by the host employer that support learning objectives/goals.

Based on data from NACE (National Association of Colleges and Employers)

How do students find internship opportunities?

Finding the right internship for you requires research and reflection. Is there a particular field/industry you’d like to gain experience in? Are you hoping to learn and build on specific skills? How does an internship relate to your major/minor and future goals? The Career Center can help you answer these questions – just set up an appointment!

There are many ways to find internship opportunities. Internships are posted on sites such as Bulldog NetWORK, as well as featured at events such as the Internship Event and the Career & Internship Fair. Internships may also be found by utilizing your network: LinkedIn, personal contacts, faculty, advisors and Career Center staff. Additionally, some employers may formally publicize and offer internships directly through your academic department.

Not all internships are posted to sites like Bulldog NetWORK. Some may post about internship opportunities on their individual websites, but sometimes nothing is posted. If there is a specific organization you’d like to intern with, go directly to their company website to look for potential internship offerings. If there isn’t anything posted, students may reach out directly to speak with someone at the organization about setting up an internship. The Career Center can help with how to approach potential internship sites.

Remote Internships

As the world of work is shifting online because of the COVID-19, the Career Center at UNC Asheville has developed guides to create positive experiences for interns:

Liability Insurance for Student Interns

Students participating in structured internship experiences either through an academic program or a department such as the Key Center or Career Center are eligible for general and professional liability insurance sponsored by The University of North Carolina Student Intern Program on a cost per-semester basis. For health related internships, the cost is $25 per semester and all other internships are $11 per semester. Participation is strictly voluntary, unless required by your internship site or academic program. For more information, contact Andrea Jackson, Fixed Asset Accountant, Phillips Hall Room 212, 828.251.6560.