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Internships

We know internships are a valuable experience but don't take it from us. Listen to other Viterbo students: 

- "My internship solidified my career plans. From a single marketing class I had in high school, I decided I wanted to go to college for marketing. However, I began questioning my choice at times. But, the experience I have gained through my internship has made me realize that marketing is something that I enjoy."

- "I was able to employ counseling strategies and had the opportunity to act in an emergency situation. This helped me realize that I have the skills that will make me successful in my future career." 

- "I have learned that I enjoy working in a lab and working with others who also enjoy science. Lab has a lot of trouble shooting and I enjoy being able to work out the solution to why something is not working. I also enjoy being surrounded by other scientists that are all knowledgeable and enjoy discussing science topics with me. It is a great way to expand your knowledge."

- "I was able to live in Washington D.C. and intern for one of the most influential non-profits related to my career. I have learned so much, and was also connected to many well-known nutrition research professionals who have helped me learn more about nutrition and how to start my career."

-"Even though I was only at this internship for less than 150 hours, I feel that I learned much more than I would have in a classroom setting for a semester. If I had to suggest one thing for any student at Viterbo to do it would be to find internships along their way to increase not only their learning, but their resume as well."

What is an internship?

"An academic internship is a form of experiential education that integrates knowledge and theory learned in the classroom with practical application and skill development in a professional setting. Students earn academic credit, or there is some other connection to a degree‐granting, educational institution. This work/learning arrangement is overseen by a faculty or staff member of an educational institution and by a designated employee of an organization. The internship is usually the length or equivalent of an academic term, may be part‐time or full‐time, paid or unpaid. An integral component of the experience that distinguishes it from other types of work is one or more forms of structured and deliberate reflection contained within learning agendas or objectives."  (formulated by subscribers to the Internship‐Net Listserv – May 2010)

Who can do an internship?

All majors may participate in a for-credit 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.  Nursing internships are not eligible for academic credit.

How do I find an internship?

You are responsible for finding your site, although Career Services maintains a listing of possibilities. You will also want to prepare a resume.
- For internships in the La Crosse area, use Viterbo's job and internship bank, Purple Briefcase 
- For internships outside of the La Crosse area, check these sites: 
     WisConnect - internships across the state
     Internships.com - internships across the country
     Indeed - internships across the country
     Vault - internships across the country
     LinkedIn - internships worldwide
- Set up a meeting with the Internship Coordinator 
- As your academic advisor and instructors
- 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. 

I have secured an internship, now what?

1.  Determine if you will take the internship for-credit or not-for-credit. Talking with your academic/program advisor is highly encouraged.

2. Report your internship in Purple Briefcase using these instructions:
  • - Open up your Purple Briefcase account at http://CareerConnect.Viterbo.edu following the instructions on the login page. Reporting will not work if you are using a Mac product or the Safari browser. Please use a different computer/browser to report your internship.
  • - Once in your account, you will want to click on "experiential" which appears in the menu on the left side of your screen. 
  • - Click "start an application."
  • - You will need to enter: your phone number, your supervisor's contact information, the position title, start and end date, pay rate, weekly hours, and a description of what you will be doing at your internship. Sometimes Purple Briefcase will auto-populate contact information, but it is your responsibility to confirm the information is correct. 
  • - If you are taking the internship for credit, type the class you will be taking (ex. ACCT, AADM, MGMT, etc.) in the "Course Subject Name" box and type the correct number of credits (1-12) you wish to enroll in in the "Course Credit Hours." 
  • - Select 'yes' for "Is this a special type of internship?" Type "No Grant" on the first and second lines. Then enter your academic advisor's contact information. 
3.  If you are taking the internship for-credit, you will need to fill out and return a PDF iconStudent Learning Contract and a PDF iconCode of Conduct Be sure to get input from your academic advisor and site supervisor.
 
4. Alyssa Gostonczik will contact you with additional instructions and paperwork, if necessary. 
 

Do I have to take my internship for academic credit?

No.  "Career Exploration Internships" are not-for-credit experiences.  Career Services suggests a commitment of at least 40 hours within a semester.  
 
If you are taking your internship for-credit, be sure to check with your academic advisor so you are enrolling in the correct number of credits in the right semester. Students will not be able to register for an internship course on their own. You must report your internship using the instructions in the section above and then contact Alyssa Gostonczik and fill out additional paperwork for registration. 

How many credits can I earn?

Internships are available for 0-12 credits 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. Students may apply up to 15-credits of internship towards graduation. 

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

-

 

Yes. Some internships are paid by the provider and others are unpaid. College students with financial need are often unable to accept unpaid internships in their fields of study because they need to earn a paycheck. By passing on an internship opportunity, they miss out on valuable, real-world experience in their fields of study.

About the Great Lakes Career-Ready Internship Grant available through Spring 2018

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.

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. Talk with your employer about "special projects" you could complete for internship hours. 

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. Among other assignments, you will do three self-evaluations, attend Career Prep Series Events, present at the Interns in Action poster session, and interns who do 4 or more credits will also need to complete a special project.

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 as you will need to pay for a summer internship during the summer semester.

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.

You might also check out The Washington Center, an independent, nonprofit organization in Washington, D.C. that provides challenging opportunities for students to work and learn for academic credit.  Viterbo students who apply and are accepted into The Washington Center Internship Program can register for 12 credits of internship in one semester at Viterbo (which will cover the program fees) and utilize any financial aid benefits to cover the housing fees.   TWC will find a semester-long professional internship in the Washington, D.C. area to match your interests.  In addition, you will also take an academic course and participate in their LEAD (Leadership, Engagement, Achievement & Development) Colloquium. For more information, visit http://www.twc.edu/  and make an appointment with the Career Services Internship Coordinator.

This sounds great! Who do I talk to in order to find out more?

Alyssa Gostonczik in Murphy 371, at 608-796-3829, argostonczik@viterbo.edu, or make an appointment.