Internship Frequently Asked Questions
Who can participate in internships?
You! Students with any major or any career interest can participate in internships.
What is an internship?
An internship is your opportunity to apply what you have learned in the classroom to a professional, real world setting. Most Whitties who intern do so over the summer, but there are opportunities for internships during the academic year here in Walla Walla. You can participate in a formal internship program or create your own internship experience. Some internships will be paid, while some will be unpaid.
Why should I intern?
The reasons for interning are limitless, but here are a few: Internships allow you to test-drive a career to determine if that career is really for you. They can provide for the development of professionalism and career-essential skills and help you build your resume. While participating in an internship, you will also have opportunities to network and collect contacts who may be useful to your future job searching.
What should an internship experience include?
When searching for an internship, look for experiences where you would gain broad exposure to a particular career or industry. You may also want to look for positions with a clear focus or a specific project. Also, seek positions where you will receive regular feedback from your supervisor.
Where should I start my search for an internship?
Many Whitties create their own individual internship experiences, sometimes through networking with family, alumni or faculty. By creating your own internship experience, you can determine what you want to learn or do within the context of an organization.
The Student Engagement Center also provides students with access to an internship database, called the Nationwide Internship Consortium. You can search for internships by job function, industry, location or employer. There are many additional resources for finding internships on the web, which can be found on this Web Resources link.
When should I apply for an internship?
The best time to search for and obtain a summer internship is between Thanksgiving and Spring Break. Some internships have earlier deadline dates, so it never hurts to begin your search early in the fall semester.
How should I apply for an internships?
Most formal internship experiences will provide application due dates and instructions for applying. For most internship positions, you will be required to submit your resume and a cover letter. The best strategy for catching an internship employer's attention is to target the specific needs of the position in your resume and cover letter. The job description is the best source to determine what those needs might be. Check out some of the SEC's resume and cover letter resources.
How can I use alumni contacts to help me in my internship search?
Through the Student Engagement Center, you can get access to contact information for Whitman alumni in a variety of different industries and careers. The Career Consultant Network (CCN) is a group of alumni who have volunteered to be resources for students looking for information on internships and careers.
Students utilizing the Career Consultant Network should not expect alumni to have internships readily available. The CCN is a great place to collect information about companies or careers that interest you, as well as develop professional relationships. Check out our Career Consultant Network webpage.
Is there funding at Whitman for unpaid internships?
Students who are interning the summer following their freshman, sophomore or junior year are welcome to apply for funding for unpaid internships. The Whitman Internship Grant is a competitive program that funds unpaid summer internships. Eligible internships must meet the following criteria:
The intern must work at least 20 hours per week for at least 10 weeks.
The internship must be completely unpaid (i.e. no housing, transportation, or food provided).
The internship must be relevant to the academic or career goals and interests of the student.
Students who are Washington state residents and who receive work study funding are eligible to use this funding for summer internship experiences. Eligible students can use this funding as an incentive for companies and organizations to hire them over other applicants. In order to utilize this funding, students must secure internships prior to submitting applications. Companies and organizations must have funds available to pay the student salary in order to then be reimbursed according to the following funding schedule:
For-profit: 50% reimbursement
Whitman College/Other college or university: 65% reimbursement
Not-for-profit: 70% reimbursement
Where have Whitties interned in the past?
Whitties have interned across the country and beyond! Take a look at some internships Whitties have participated in over the last five years:
Is there anyone I can talk to about internships?
Whitman students and alumni are encouraged to make an appointment with a career counselor in the Student Engagement Center to talk about internships, resumes and cover letters, and careers! Call 509-527-5183 to schedule an appointment, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org