What is an internship?
An internship is defined as a supervised work/learning experience that exposes a student to professional responsibilities in a career field of interest. An internship is distinguished from other work experiences because it is directly related to a student's program of study and has clearly defined learning outcomes related to a student's major.
Who can do an internship?
All majors may participate in an internship provided they meet the minimum GPA requirement (minimum cumulative: 2.5) and have the approval of their academic advisor. Practicum and field experiences are different from internships. Students in psychology, addiction studies, nutrition & dietetics, and social work should check with their academic advisor to ensure registration for the proper course. Nursing internships are not taken for credit, and placements are not facilitated through this office.
How many credits can a student earn?
Credits are variable and are dependent upon the number of hours worked. In a regular semester, you can take up to 12 credits of internship; in the summer, the maximum number of credits is 9. Some academic departments require a specific number of internship credits. Note that average hours per week varies slightly during the summer semester, which is accelerated and based on a 10 week semester as opposed to the typical 14 week semester:
Total Hours Required
Average Hours Per Week Fall & Spring Semester (16 weeks)
Average Hours Per Week Summer (12 weeks)
Can I be paid for doing an internship?
Yes. However, some internships are unpaid, volunteer experiences.
I already work part-time in my field. Can I get internship credit for these hours?
The answer is "maybe." You cannot get internship credit for doing what you are already doing. You'll need to take on new responsibilities or a new project to turn your existing job into a viable site for internship credit.
Last summer I had a great summer job related to my academic major. Can I take credit for it during the regular school year?
No. Credits must be taken during the semester in which the work is performed.
Besides putting in the required number of hours, what else do I have to do to get internship credit?
If you complete an internship for credit, you register and complete assignments for an online course taught by Career Services staff. You will do periodic self-evaluations, participate in Moodle discussions, write a summary report, and participate in a site meeting with the Internship Coordinator, as feasible. Interns who do 3 or more credits will also need to complete a special project.
Why would I want to do an internship if I'm not required to do one?
An internship can bridge a gap between college and the work world, allowing students to experience the roles, expectations, and behaviors of the job arena. Students learn about their strengths, interests, problem solving skills, and abilities to deal with clients and work under pressure. Students gain experience they can note on their resumes and for application to graduate school, and may gain great networking connections and professional references. Also, the national average of college graduates have done AT LEAST TWO internships before graduation! So, you should do at least one internship during your college career in order to stay competitive within the job market -- even if it is not required by your major.
Do I have to pay for the internship?
Internship credits cost the same as any other classes at Viterbo. Your financial aid may help cover the tuition cost. Some students elect to do an internship and not take it for academic credit. Career Services will assist you in finding an internship regardless of whether you take it for credit or not. Remember: You MUST be enrolled to receive financial aid. Take this into consideration if you are thinking about doing a summer internship.
I'm going home this summer. Can I do an internship outside the La Crosse area?
Yes. We have had interns across the United States and in other countries.
How do I find an internship?
You are responsible for finding your site, although Career Services maintains a listing of possibilities. Check out internship listings on the Viterbo Job Bank, VHawk Job Talk. Attend career fairs and explore company websites. Ask about internship possibilities when you are networking with people in your field. Do an online search for internships in specific communities.
This sounds great! Who do I talk to in order to find out more?
Contact the Career Services office by telephoning 608-796-3828 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org to make an appointment with the Community Engagement Coordinator to discuss internship possibilities. It's best to discuss options with your academic advisor and make contact with the Community Engagement Coordinator at least one semester in advance.