Gaining hands-on experience is one of the most valuable things you can do to build skills and knowledge in a particular area of interest. Whether the experience is paid or unpaid or inside or outside the classroom, it is all valuable experience!
Don’t Just Get an Education: Experience It
The best complement to a classroom education is a real-world education. Experiential learning has been a cornerstone of the Norwich student experience for 200 years.
A strong internship places you in a work environment where you test and refine the skills you’ve learned in the classroom. So it should come as no surprise that more and more employers are expecting to see internships on resumes when they hire college grads. Internships can be paid, unpaid, for academic credit and not for credit. Nearly two out of three people hired straight out of college have internship experience.
WHERE TO START: Internship Guide
- Explore companies or organizations that relate to your field of study.
- Speak to your academic advisor or Norwich’s Internship Coordinator.
- Ask yourself, what are the specific goals you would like to gain from an internship, e.g. “I want to see how a marketing plan develops from beginning to end.”
CREATE AN ACTION PLAN:
- Create a list of target companies that match your interests, skills, and values.
- Research organizations and their available career opportunities.
- Set, track, and meet short-term goals, urgent deadlines, and small milestones (internship timeline).
TAP IN TO YOUR NETWORK:
- Use social media, such as LinkedIn, to reach out to Norwich alumni, family, and friends.
- Set up informational interviews or job-shadowing experiences to make connections within your field of study.
- Find Mentorship with Class2Class, a special virtual networking program offered by the NU Alumni Association.
FIND AN INTERNSHIP:
- Use Handshake to find an internship.
- Create an Internship Learning Contract.
- Start early:
May - August
September 1 - December 15
October - December
January 15 - April 30
February - April
May 15 - August 15
Norwich University offers academic credit in many subject areas; these can count toward electives within your major or minor. A complete list of internship courses can be found in the resources section of Handshake.
Apply for mileage reimbursement to travel to your internship.
Professional experience helps us to develop transferable skills such as work ethic, verbal and written communication, attention to detail, and critical thinking, among many others. Additionally, you gain an understanding of professionalism in the workplace and how companies operate. All experience is valuable in some way—it is all in how you sell it.
Research and Fellowships
There are many opportunities to work directly with faculty on research and projects outside the classroom. For many majors such as STEM, research can be just as important as an internship.