Here are answers to some commonly asked questions about internships. Check these out, and drop by EIA to see a career adviser if you have additional questions or would like to discuss other options.
What is an internship?
Internships are considered to be a high-impact learning practice. They are key to providing students with an experiential opportunity for exploring career options, connecting to academic work, and/or pursuing a deep personal interest.
Why are internships important?
An internship can help you explore what is "out there in the real world" and help you focus in on career areas that interest you. The work you perform during an internship can affirm your skills and abilities. The effort, initiative, and maturity involved in securing an internship are personal values that prospective employers look for.
Internships give you the chance to experience the workplace beyond the College, complementing your academic experience as a student. They offer an excellent way to build valuable contacts for the future. They can also help you clarify your interests and determine your compatibility with something you might, or might not, want to continue with after graduation.
Can I receive academic credit from Middlebury College for an internship?
There are several ways in which you may be eligible to receive academic credit linked to an internship. Some sponsoring organizations will require interns to receive credit from their college. If this is the case with your proposed internship and your internship does not fit into the categories listed immediately below, you may want to request a Transcript Notation.
Winter Term Internships: All students (sophomore and above) in approved winter term internships receive one course credit (IN600) for successful completion. Check with us in EIA for current guidelines.
Study Abroad Internships: An increasing number of internship opportunities that award academic credit are possible for students in Middlebury College Study Abroad programs through the Clarence and Anne Dillon Dunwalke Trust. Check with program directors for specific details and eligibility requirements. Check the Study Abroad website for details and contact information.
500-level course credit: Upper-level students (typically, juniors and seniors) may be approved by their academic department to receive academic credit for an Independent Study (500-level course). An Independent Study may combine a research-oriented internship with appropriate written documentation. Course credit is awarded in the semester during which the student is formally registered in the Independent Study, typically the term immediately following completion of the internship. Most 500-level independent studies involve a Middlebury faculty member directly overseeing the internship/research phase. Check with your faculty adviser for more details.
555-level course credit: This credit is only awarded upon approval of the Administration Committee for high-level research in one's field of interest, conducted during the summer or another leave term away from campus. The internship/research must be supervised by an accomplished professional. To receive credit, the student must produce extensive written documentation upon completion of the experience, which is reviewed by a Middlebury faculty member. Check with your faculty adviser for more details.
What if my Summer Internship requires that I receive credit?
Middlebury does not grant academic credit for summer internships. However, you can receive a Transcript Notation, which indicates on your official transcript that you have completed the internship. In many cases, this alternative satisfies the employer's requirement of academic credit.
Complete the Transcript Notation Request form and submit it to EIA before the start of your proposed internship. After completing the internship, you must ensure that your internship supervisor submits an evaluation letter to EIA describing your internship tasks and responsibilities and evaluating your performance. Check here for detailed Transcript Notation information and requirements.
Are there any paid internships?
Yes! While many organizations consider the valuable experience the intern obtains as sufficient reimbursement for the work performed, many other organizations may offer competitive pay to their interns. No internship will be a "get rich" situation for your summer months. The value of an internship lies in the quality and breadth of experience, not in the paycheck.
That said, as many summer internships are unpaid there are several funding resources at Middlebury, including funding through EIA. Check the EIA Student Funding Database for a listing of these sources.
Do organizations other than big companies offer internships?
Definately. Internships exist in nearly every occupation and every type of organization. If you cannot find an established internship in your area of interest, you can sometimes design your own internship by contacting professionals in that field. For advice on how to do this, come in to see a career adviser in EIA.
I don't know if I want to pursue a career in the same field as the internship I've been offered. Should I take the internship anyway?
Internships do not lock you in to a particular career field. Rather, internships are an excellent way to find out whether or not a field or occupation truly interests you.
Do you have to be a junior or a senior to have an internship?
While many internships are advertised specifically for juniors or graduating seniors, not all are. Rewarding opportunities exist for any students who have the desire and determination to take advantage of them. Try exploring opportunities close to home to get some experience in the field; then when you are an older student, you will be a strong candidate for more competitive internships.