An internship is a form of experiential learning that integrates knowledge and theory learned in the classroom with practical application and skills development in a professional setting. Internships give students the opportunity to gain valuable applied experience and make connections in professional fields they are considering for career paths, and give employers the opportunity to guide and evaluate talent. At UNC Asheville, students are encouraged to take part in experiential learning through hands-on educational opportunities, such as internships, service-learning, study abroad, campus leadership and undergraduate research.
- 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)
Academic Credit for Internships
It is up to the academic department to determine whether or not to award academic credit for an internship. If you are considering an internship, consult your academic advisor or your department’s internship faculty coordinator to see how it fits with your course of study.
Finding the right internship for you requires research. If you have a specific organization in mind, go directly to their company website to look for potential internship offerings. Some employers may formally offer and publicize internships directly through your academic department. The Career Center also hosts the Internship Expo each semester, bringing many employers who are ready to talk with prospective interns.
Not all internships are publicized! Some students will find it necessary to create their own internship by directly contacting employers of interest. Internships may also be found by using your network: LinkedIn, personal contacts, faculty, advisors and Career Center staff. Contact the Career Center if you need assistance in preparing a resume and approaching potential internship sites.