Department of Geography and the Environment

Value of an Internship

What is an internship?

An internship is a learning experience in a workplace setting and it introduces students to a professional environment that may be related to their academic education. It is a bridge between education and future employment. Internships can be completed while enrolled at UT or after graduation. Internships are temporary and can last from 6 weeks up to 1 year. They can be paid or unpaid and can be for academic credit or not. Internships can be in any field: business, non-profit organizations, government agencies, and more. 

Why should I complete an internship?

There are many reasons to complete an internship. A recent article in the New York Times noted that internships are now critically important to be competitive in the job market. While internships enhance your resume, they also allow you to "test drive" a potential field or sector that interests you. You learn new skills, apply classroom knowledge to the workplace, gain insight into workplace dynamics and build confidence. Students report that internships often motivate them academically because they begin to see the connections between education and the workplace. An advantage of internships is that they can lead to full-time paid positions. Some degrees at UT-Austin require an internship. Both the B.A. in Sustinability Studies and Urban Studies require students complete an internship and service learning course (GRG 379L or URB 360) that combine classroom meetings with internships.