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Rachel Haughton and coworker taking pictures in a field.

Rachel Haughton '24 with Beaver Coalition in Asotin, WA

Devon Player talking with coworker at the Freedom Project.

Devon Player ‘23 with the Freedom Project in Renton, WA

Shahrom Dehoti posing with Harvust team members.

Shahrom Dehoti '24 with Harvust in Walla Walla, WA

Riley Kraft holding up a RNA scope in the Zelikowsky lab.

Riley Kraft ’23 with the Zelikowsky Lab in Salt Lake City, UT

Alex Muller feeding a rescued squirrel.

Alex Muller ’23 with Think Wild in Bend, OR

What is an internship?

Internships are opportunities for active learning outside of the classroom that allow students to bring their academic knowledge and theory to bear in real-world situations and professional settings.  Interns not only develop valuable practical skills but also build crucial connections with professionals in industries and areas they may wish to further pursue.  An internship can be a good way for a student to explore a new field before committing to a career pathway.  Employers value the opportunity to offer internships as a unique way to mentor and access potential talent, fostering a dynamic exchange of ideas and exertise.

The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) defines an internship as "a form of experiential learning that integrates knowledge and theory learned in the classroom with practical application and skills development in a professional workplace setting."  Whitman students often participate in multiple internships over the course of their studies, each connected with one or more of their academic interests.

How can an internship help me?

By participating in an internship you can:

  • Explore an industry, career path, or organization
  • Gain practical, hands-on professional work experience
  • Build and hone skills that employers look for when hiring college graduates
  • Network with professionals and make valuable connections for references, future opportunties, and mentorship
  • Apply knowledge acquired in the classroom to the outside workplace

Where can I find internship opportunities?

Whether you have an organization already in mind or aren't sure where to start, there are many resources available to assist in identifying an internship that is right for you.

What is the Whitman Internship Grant (WIG)?

The Whitman Internship Grant is a competitive grant that can provide funding for students who secure or build an unpaid internship opportunity at nonprofit organizations, some for-profit organizations, and government offices either during a semester or over the summer.  Reach out to Assistant Director for Internship Programs, Nadine Stecklein, with questions regarding the Whitman Internship Grant.

What are Parker Dewey Micro-Internships?

Parker Dewey Micro-Internships provide students from all majors with the opportunity to execute professional assignments that allow them to build and demonstrate skills while exploring a variety of career paths. Employers may use micro-internships to improve the effectiveness of hiring efforts or to obtain immediate help on projects if they or their team are overloaded. Visit the Parker Dewey website for more information.  (NOTE: students must have a U.S. work authorization in order to partake in this program.)

Can I get course credit for an internship?

IDSC 125 is a one-credit academic course, approved by a student's major advisor and supervised by a member of the Career and Community Engagement Center, which connects formal off-campus student experiences in applied settings (e.g., internships) with their academic major.

Can I get assistance with applying for internships?

Students and recent alumni can schedule appointments with CCEC staff members via Handshake for resume and cover letter review as well as for assistance with developing, finding, or securing an internship. Assistant Director for Internship Programs, Nadine Stecklein, is available for appointment scheduling on Handshake, as are members of the Student Career Advisors team. 

More internship search resources:

Whitman students can take advantage of multiple resources during the process of an internship search, including access to instructional guides and an internship database, consultation with peer advisors, and connecting with Whitman alumni who have expressed an interest in helping out.  See below for more information.

Student Career Advisors (SCAs) are peer career liaisons of the Career and Community Engagement Center. They review resumes and cover letters, assist with job applications and the Whitman Internship Grant application process, connect fellow students with tools such as Career Pathfinder and Whitman Connect, and offer guidance in using Handshake. SCAs are available throughout the school year during their drop-in hours or for one-on-one appointments scheduled via email or Handshake.

Handshake is a social-media style job and internship platform for undergraduates and young alumni. Activate your account to access a variety of resources including internship postings, events sponsored by employers and by the CCEC, and a Resource Library compiled by CCEC staff, including an article specifically geared toward finding internships and research opportunities.  Handshake is also the place to schedule appointments with professional CCEC staff or SCAs for resume review, cover letter help, assistance in identifying internship resources, consulting about the Whitman Internship Grant, or just to talk about your future plans - whether you have any in mind yet, or not!

The Whitman Internship Database contains information on years of past internships held by Whitman students.  You can search and filter by location, major, and keywords.  Some of these internships were eligible for the Whitman Internship Grant.

Whitman Connect is Whitman's proprietary database of alumni, searchable by location, industry, occupation, major, campus groups and activities, and more.  Through Whitman Connect, students can research and contact alumni who have volunteered to support students’ professional exploration and preparation in a variety of ways.  Please note that this tool is a private environment for professional conversations between students and alumni.  A positive, professional demeanor and responsible conduct is expected.  Please do not allow others to access this resource with your login credentials or use the platform for soliciting anything beyond career mentorship or advice.

Videos of Whittie Internship Experiences

Whitman students know that learning doesn't just happen in the classroom. That's why so many students participate in internships during their time at Whitman. We followed some of them to learn more about the most rewarding parts of their time on the job.

Erina Horikawa '19 - Walla Walla Valley Farm to School
Matthias Argenyi '18 - Goldman Sachs
Jillian Briglia '19 - Northwest Film Center
Andy Burnstein '20 - Holocaust Center for Humanity
Kaitie Dong '18 - Refugee Women's Alliance
Noah Edelson '18 - eWind Solutions
Emma Hansen '20 - Wild Salmon Center
Emma Lungren '19 - Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Suzanna Officer '19 - Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Ocean
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