An Academic Internship is the first professional level work experience for most students.
If you have never looked for a professional level job or internship you may be surprised at how much more work is involved. The good news is that the search process is very similar to the job search process. During your internship search you will be learning critical life skills—how to look for employment.
Self-Assessment Gain a better understanding of your unique combination of strengths, interests, knowledge and personality as they relate to calling. StrengthsQuest, Myers-Briggs, and Strong Interest Inventory are tools to help you discover your design and be strategic about career and calling.
Career Exploration Gain an accurate picture of what people do in a career of interest to you. Do informational interviews, use resources like “Ferguson’s Career Guidance” at Berntsen Library databases to do more in-depth research.
Resume Rough Draft Compile / describe your experiences, skills and abilities in a resume format.
Create your LinkedIn Profile Join the Northwestern College Professional Network and make contact with alumni.
Financial Aid Academic Internships can receive the same types of financing as for any other academic credit. You can also receive funding for food and housing even for internships out-of-state or in a foreign country. However, you need to plan ahead. Contact NWC’s financial aid office for assistance before the start of the academic year you intend to do your internship.
Ideal: Start at least 7–11 months prior to the desired internship start
Fall Internship Start Phase 1 by Jan 1
Spring Internship Start Phase 1 by June 1
Summer internship Start Phase 1 by Nov 1
PHASE 2 : Internship Search
Search Strategy Use a variety of methods as you create a list of internship possibilities. Do not use the internet only! Attend workshops, pick up resources, and/or schedule an appointment for help with your job search.
Use the NWC Directory of Internships We have assembled list of previous NWC internship sites and other quality locations to help you. See link at top of page.
Resumes & Cover Letters Finalize your “marketing” documents. Make sure your resume has good “keyword” content and that it actually fits the need of the employer. Send a cover letter with your resume.
Application process and follow-up Don’t just upload your resume and wait for someone to call. Find out ways to help your application be effective.
Interview Prepare for your interview by researching the organization and practicing good interviewing technique. Do mock interviews and ask for feedback.
Application Deadlines Vary! Fall—apply in Feb–June Spring—apply in Aug-Dec Summer—apply in Nov-Mar November 1 Deadline: Most US Government summer internship programs
Highly competitive internships tend to have earlier deadlines!
PHASE 3: Internship Registration and Deadlines
Registration for an internship is done manually. Please see Registration Instructions and Registration Deadlines pages for more info.
GST 4095 Internship: Do you need to register for internship credits before you actually have secured the internship? This is rarely needed except for students who would fall below the minimum required credits. It typically occurs with athletes and kinesiology majors. See GST 4095 for instructions.
International Internships need 2 months for the approval process. Notify your faculty supervisor & Linda Ashworth in the Center for Calling & Career if you plan to do an International Internship. There are additional requirements. More scrutiny is given for these types of experiences. NWC has a list of “approved sending agencies”. Going through one of these organizations streamlines the approval process. See the NWC Directory of Internships for a list of already approved international sites.
Cost of internships credit All internship credits cost the same as any other academic credit. Internships completed in the summer are at the summer school rate. Contact the Financial Aid Office with questions about financing your internship.
Learning Agreement (Student & Faculty Supervisor completes) Your internship will have an academic component. Meet with your faculty supervisor to discuss your learning outcomes and academic assignments.
Remind your employer to complete the on-line Agreement of Responsibilities (viewing only) form. After you are officially registered your site supervisor will be sent a link to this on-line agreement form via e-mail. Please make sure your employer is anticipating this e-mail.
Site Visit: Make arrangements for your faculty supervisor to make a “site visit”. This could be in person, a phone conference, or an e-mail.
READ “How to Make the Most of Your Internship”.
PHASE 5: During internship
Dialogue with your faculty supervisor and other interns.
Establish Integration of Faith goals for yourself. Read Spiritual Formation during the internship.
Be intentional: learn the “lingo”, notice how meetings are conducted, memos are written
Ask for additional opportunities
Academic assignments: Remember to work on them!
Mid-term evaluation (if applicable)
Arrange site visit by your faculty supervisor (if applicable)
Record your work: Take pictures, save work for portfolio, develop network contacts. Please send pictures to the Center for Calling & Career. These are used to promote internship to other students.
PHASE 6: End of internship
Near the end of your internship both you and your on-site supervisor will be sent an evaluation via email.