Career Services

Internship FAQs

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.

Junior nursing students looking for a nursing internship should plan on attending the Nursing Career Fair held every November. A number of regional facilities hosting nursing internships attend that event to share information about their internship opportunities and application procedures.

Do I have to take my internship for academic credit?

No.  "Career Exploration Internships" are a not-for-credit experiences.  These internships require a commitment of at least 40 hours within a semester.  Students must submit minimal documentation about what they learned during the experience. 

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 12 week semester as opposed to the typical 16 week semester:

Credits

Total Hours Required

Average Hours Per Week Fall & Spring Semester (16 weeks)

Average Hours Per Week Summer (12 weeks)

1

48

3

4

2

96

6

8

3

144

9

12

4

192

12

16

5

240

15

20

6

288

18

24

7

336

21

28

8

384

24

32

9

432

27

36

10

480

30

-

11

528

33

-

12

576

36

-

 

Can I be paid for doing an internship?

Yes. However, some internships are unpaid, volunteer experiences. Financially eligible juniors and seniors may be able to earn $10 through the Career Ready Internship Grant.  

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 apply my summer experience towards credit in 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 will fill out a Student Learning Outcomes forms based on the learning outcomes of your major, and you will complete assignments for the online internship course taught by Alyssa Gostonczik. 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 4 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 and internship bank, Career Connect/Purple Briefcase. 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?

Alyssa Gostonczik in the Career Services office, 608-796-3828, argostonczik@viterbo.edu, or make an appointment.