It’s never too early to start thinking about internships! Internships can help you explore your personal and professional interests, try out a career path and network with professionals. Start looking for an internship today!
Career coaches are available Monday - Friday to provide internship coaching. Our coaches can help connect you with valuable internship resources, prepare your internship applications and direct you to credit-based internship courses. Visit our Appointments page to learn how to make an internship coaching appointment.
Take a peek into internship programs by reading the day-in-the-life summaries written by liberal arts students who have interned in a variety of organizations and industries: Where Students Intern.
Explore our career courses page to learn about internship courses, application deadlines and how to apply.
Each spring semester, LACS offers a series of internship workshops designed to help you learn how to search for internships, prepare for internship, succeed in the internship and transition out of the internship. The workshop topics have been chosen and scheduled so that you can attend one, a few or all of the series while interning or in the ramp-up to your internship. Explore the workshop series details here.
The following steps will help you identify your interest, prepare for internship applications and connect with internship opportunities.
1. Consider what you want in an internship
Focus on a specific city, industry and role to make the search less overwhelming and find an internship more quickly.
Don’t know what you’re good at or where to start? A career coach can help you better articulate your skills, interests and values. Do you have a specific internship in mind? A career coach can help increase your potential for success by helping you create targeted application materials, articulate your skills and perform well in an interview. Schedule an appointment today.
Want some ideas of where UT liberal arts students have interned in the past? Our internship site reviews include hundreds of organizations- get the inside scoop on what each internship is really like directly from your fellow longhorns.
Not sure what internships might be appropriate for you? Use our career research tools to explore companies, industries and career paths.
2. Search for internship opportunities that match your needs
Now that you have a better idea of what you’re looking for, here are some of our search tools to help.
Want help sorting through all of these resources, and strategizing an approach to your internship search? Schedule an appointment so that we can help.
You’ll also want to use the internship feature on Indeed.com. Indeed aggregates internship postings from thousands of websites. Let these tools do some of the work for you. Many of the jobs and internship boards on our search tools page will send you alerts when a job matching your criteria is posted.
3. Prepare your materials
Use the internship description and list of qualifications in the internship posting to customize your resume and cover letter each time you apply for something new.
Need help preparing your resume or cover letter? Start by checking out our resume and cover letter samples and templates.
Once you have a rough draft, stop by during our walk-in hours or schedule an appointment with a career coach to make sure your application materials are appropriately targeted to the internship posting and organization.
Be sure to follow the application instructions precisely.
Stay organized- keep a list of all the internships to which you’ve applied. You’ll want to be prepared when an organization follows up with you!
Congrats on lining up an interview! Use the organization’s website to research the organization, its culture and the role thoroughly before your interview.
Learn interview types and strategies, and prepare responses to typical interview questions with the help of our interviewing page.
Not feeling very confident about your upcoming interview? Take your interview preparation to the next level by scheduling a mock interview with one of our career coaches. We’ll customize your interview questions based on the industry and offer constructive feedback to help.
Repeat steps 1-5 as necessary.
Visit a career coach to discuss what you might do to improve your next round of applications.
Found a great internship? Congrats! We’d love to hear about it. Please share your success story via this short form. We will keep your information confidential unless you give us permission to share your story.
What is an internship? An internship is a form of experiential learning that integrates knowledge and theory learned in the classroom with practical application and skills development in a professional setting. Internships give students the opportunity to gain valuable applied experience and make connections in professional fields they are considering for career paths; and give employers the opportunity to guide and evaluate talent. Internships can be paid or unpaid, and you may or may not receive academic credit for performing the internship.
Why should I do an internship? According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, internship programs are listed as the number one place employers look when recruiting new hires. In a nutshell, internships provide you with the opportunity to test-drive a career path and to gain valuable experience and skills in the process that will make you more competitive and marketable in today's job search.
In additional to learning hard skills used to complete tasks, internships also help build soft skills needed to interact in a professional setting. You will hone your communication and interpersonal skills and experience and understand organization/company culture.
Are internships only for students who want to work in business? Not at all. Internships can be valuable for any student, whether you're interested in business, nonprofit administration, education, public service, graduate school or law school. Internships are available in all sectors and students can intern in a great variety of roles, from marketing to teaching and counseling/therapy to museum research.
Are internships paid or unpaid? Internships may be paid or unpaid, depending on the employer/internship site. If you have an unpaid internship, is it legitimate? Most nonprofit and government internship programs have greater flexibility when offering unpaid internships. However, for-profit companies must meet government-issued criteria to offer unpaid internships.
The Department of Labor's Fair Standards Act outlines six criteria that must be met for a for-profit company to offer unpaid internships. You can review the criteria here. Each for-profit company is responsible for determining whether each of its particular internship programs meets the unpaid criteria. If you are applying for an unpaid internship that does not appear to meet the DoL's six criteria, contact Liberal Arts Career Services (512-471-7900) for help framing a professional conversation about the pay status with your potential internship supervisor or the hiring manager.
- Research - find the right fit for you, even if it's the right-now fit.
- Clarify expectations - from the start, be sure you understand what your supervisor expects from you and the scope of your responsibilities.
- Build a relationship with your supervisor - you want to maintain a high level of professionalism, but it’s okay to share stories about your interest outside of work.
- Be proactive - do what’s expected of you, follow through on assigned tasks, meet deadlines, and communicate any challenges you may have before deadlines.
- Maintain a clean workspace from day one - remember that impressions matter, and you don’t want any distractions from your work. This is especially important if you share an office space with other interns.
- Meet other professionals and get outside of your office - you should make plans to go to social events, meet other employees at your internship, and seek to understand the organization’s culture and how people fit in.
- Speak up and ask questions - remember that the purpose of your internship is to learn and grow. Don’t make a mistake on a task that could have been prevented by speaking up or asking people to clarify.
- Seek out new projects and new opportunities - speak to your supervisor about skills you want to gain and new projects you want to take on. Take initiative on your own after you complete the tasks given to you.
- Show up and be on time - make sure you are a true professional at all times.
- Be reliable - do you meet deadlines, pay attention to details, and create meaningful work? Can your supervisor trust you?
Internship Courses for Academic Credit: Three and one-credit courses are offered each semester.
Students Interested in Graduate School: Internships are a great way to help develop your research skills for an eventual advanced degree program. Check out the grad school research page to learn about project opportunities and check out the Grad School Internship Course to work with a current graduate student on a research project.
International Students Interested in Internship: Please meet with a Career Coach and visit the Office of International Education for guidance on your work eligibility