Career Development

Internship

Characteristics of a High-Quality Internship Experience

The internship is an experience that provides a substantial, meaningful, and challenging learning environment. While the intern’s primary role may be focused, it must be situated in a broader context that provides exposure to multiple facets of the organization, its operations, and the field at large. Learning goals should be co-created with the intern and supervisor and periodically revisited throughout the internship so that progress towards achieving the goals is monitored. Additional characteristics include:

  • The duration of the internship is between 8 and 12 weeks.
  • The roles and responsibilities of the internship are documented in a written position description and describes real work assignments that are recognized as valuable by the organization.
  • At the beginning of the internship experience, a formal orientation session is provided for purposes of onboarding the intern. The session should include explaining the organization’s mission, culture, and structure; the intern’s specific role; what is expected of them in regards to job performance and appropriate work conduct; as well as any training necessary to use the organization’s systems and technologies.
  • An experienced supervisor is assigned to oversee the intern’s work, ensuring they have adequate guidance and resources to learn and complete the assigned work. The supervisor is readily available to answer questions and provide feedback. To ensure a developmental learning setting, interns should not be directly supervised by a member of their family or close friend/peer. 
  • When possible, the intern is provided opportunities to participate in internal training. The content of the training could be in a work-related skills area such as a computer language or in a general skills area such as project management.
  • Regular and ongoing feedback is provided to the intern throughout the experience. At the conclusion of the experience, an exit interview is conducted to gather feedback on the intern’s experience.

Matched by Oberlin

Students who wish to be matched to an internship sponsor by the Career Development Center will need to indicate this on their application. We will do our best to match you with an internship that is in alignment with your professional interests, but we cannot guarantee that your internship will be in your specific area of interest. As a reminder, students who wish to be matched by the Career Development Center must submit their application by the December 15 deadline.

Securing Your Own Internship

Students participating in the Junior Practicum Program have two options concerning their summer internship:

  1. We will match you with an Oberlin alumni or parent sponsor; or
  2. You may choose to find and secure your own internship.

You will indicate your preference on the Junior Practicum application form, and a Career Development Center staff member will follow up with you, as needed.

Below are suggested tips and resources to assist you in securing your own internship. The deadline to self-secure an internship is Monday, January 17, 2022. If you or a potential internship sponsor have questions related to the Junior Practicum processes, do not hesitate to connect with the Career Development Center at ocareers@oberlin.edu.

  • October 4–December 15: Indicate your intent to secure your own internship on the Junior Practicum application form.
  • October 4–January 17: Contact prospective employers to secure your own micro-internship; submit the Self-secured Internship Form (to be sent by email) to the Career Development Center
  • January 17: Deadline to submit the Self-secured Internship Form to the Career Development Center
  • April 1*: Deadline to secure your own internship to be financially supported by the college. Any internship secured after this date will not be funded by the college.

* If an internship is not secured by this deadline, we cannot promise that we will be able to match juniors with an internship sponsor.

  1. Leverage your network!
    • Reach out to alumni on Wisr
    • Make connections on LinkedIn
    • Reconnect with professors, prior employers, family, friends, etc.
  2. Peruse online platforms.
  3. Go local.
    Connect with local:
    • nonprofit organizations
    • businesses
    • government organizations
    • healthcare facilities
    • religious institutions
  4. Take initiative.
    Do you have an organization you would like to work with? Send them an email directly! The Career Development Center can help you communicate effectively with employers about this opportunity.
  5. Connect with the Career Development Center.
    We are here to help! Schedule an advising appointment with the Career Development Center via Handshake or call 440-775-8140.

Information on the funding criteria will be posted soon.