Creating Your Own Internship

 

  • There are many opportunities for graduate students to get involved, even in places where formal internship structures do not currently exist.
  • Build your network. Follow up with fellow students, staff, faculty, people at conferences, other colleges, etc.  Having a strong network opens up opportunities, sometimes in the least expected places!
  • Define your goals. Determine what opportunities you want an internship to provide and what skills you want to develop or improve on.
  • Be straightforward with those you are talking to about what you want to pursue professionally and how you envision working with them might advance your goals.
  • Show initiative. Don’t be afraid to ask about opportunities.
  • Send out "cold" emails to places you are interested in and build connections through common interests.  There are many resources available on how to construct an email, such as this article by Frances Bridges.
  • Stay positive while searching for an internship.
  • When an opportunity arises, be sure to follow up on it. Many employers look positively on those wanting to create a new internship position.

Resources

Explore Other Options

Research is an important part of academic advising. New methods, advising strategies, technology, and countless other topics affect how an advisor advises the students they see on a daily basis. Doing independent research may also set you apart when applying for jobs, and help build experience.

If no internships are available over the summer, there are many other ways to expand your resume and experience. NACADA offers many publishing and reviewing opportunities for it's members. Click here to find out more.

A great opportunity for NACADA members who are wanting to get published is to write a book review. Click here to find out how to get started, and see the list of available books here

Talk to advisors, faculty, and peers about possible research opportunities or ideas. There are many opportunities as a graduate student to present work and develop connections at conferences. If struggling for ideas, check out these research resources.

Whether you find an internship or a research opportunity becomes available, be sure to talk to your department to see if course credit can be earned.