Internships are short-term opportunities to gain hands-on experience in a professional environment, whether during the school year or over the summer.
The benefits of an internship include gaining valuable work experience, exploring career paths, giving yourself an edge in the job market, and building connections with professionals.
Students can get an internship at any time. We often recommend pursuing an internship once you have declared your major, but some students like to get started sooner.
If you're a first-year student, it's not too early to start thinking about these opportunities! Here's some information for you to consider:
Yes! Many internships are paid opportunities.
Potentially! If you are interested in receiving credit for an internship, be sure to talk with your academic department about the steps you'll need to take before you accept the internship.
There are part-time internship options and even paid, micro-internships. Learn more about these opportunities.
International students may be eligible to complete an internship through Curricular Practical Training (CPT). To learn more about your next steps, visit the CPT section of ISSS’s Employment page. Then visit the Career Services Center’s International Students page to learn about more helpful resources.
Research the organization
- What is the organization’s mission and values? What are their workplace policies, including recruitment and promotion practices?
- Who is on the team and who occupies leadership positions? Are there programs and resources that demonstrate a commitment to equity and inclusion?
- While originally written for employers, this article will provide insights into specific things to look for when seeking inclusive organizations .
- As you research, reflect on what you are finding. How does this information align with your personal career priorities? What additional information would you like to learn?
Connect with current or previous employees
- This provides an opportunity to hear firsthand perspectives about what it is like to work for the organization.
- You may be able to find a Western alum who works there through the LinkedIn Alumni Tool.
- On Handshake, you may be able to reach out to students from other schools who have worked or interned at the company.
- Glassdoor provides company reviews written by employees.
Prepare questions to ask during the interview.
- An interview is an opportunity for you to learn more about a team and organization, so you can make an informed decision about whether you want to work there.
- Read this article for examples of sample questions to ask.
We are happy to talk with you about your options! Schedule an appointment to chat with a career counselor.
Internship Search Resources
Students find internships through the Career Services Center, their academic department, personal contacts, or by connecting directly with employers. There are also many websites and resources you can use. For your online search, we recommend that you start with Handshake because it has the most opportunities for current students and recent grads.
Bear in mind that if you don't see the internship of your dreams listed online, you may be able to work with an employer to create one!
Explore current internship listings on Handshake, WWU’s recruiting platform. New opportunities are added every day!
Apply for short-term, paid, professional assignments where you can demonstrate your skills, explore career paths, and build your network.
Connect with Education Abroad to learn about international internships as part of your study abroad experience.
Learn about AmeriCorps Education Awards (funds for student loans or future educational expenses) when participating in a community service-focused internship.
Ready for next steps?
As you navigate this process, remember that you can meet with a career counselor to get additional support with your internship search, resumes and cover letters, or interview preparation!