Study away internship placements are created for each individual student based on your professional goals and personal interests. The internship team finds a unique placement for each participant based on information from their statement of interest and phone placement meeting.
Internships are possible in a number of different industries. Students are encouraged to be creative and to think about developing transferable skills and how these enhanced skills will serve as a first step toward career goals. These are just some example of areas of placement to get you started.
How does the overall process work?
The College of Arts & Letters partners with internship placement organizations that work specifically with college students to identify internship placements based on skills, interests, and professional goals, as well as the employer’s needs and work cycles. Students benefit from their expertise, wide network of employers, professional development guidance and workshops, and dedication to create a quality internship experience for each individual. Staff in each location provide placement services, on-site orientation, workshops and also serve as the emergency contact on-site throughout the program.
Each student identifies two to three areas of interest for a possible internship. This allows placement managers more avenues to pursue internship positions that will be a valuable experience for each individual. Students should be specific about goals for outcomes of their experience, while remaining flexible and open to many types of placements that may be available within each industry.
Coursework will be assigned by the student’s college internship program coordinator. Assignments may include a combination of reflective journals, research papers, and a project portfolio students will compile throughout the program. Internships are unpaid, and each student will earn a minimum of six credits for the experience.
The placement process includes:
- Application submitted via the College of Arts & Letters study away page.
- MSU study away internship coordinator emails the applicant to schedule an in-person/Zoom meeting after reviewing their application. After meeting with the applicant, the study away internship coordinator reviews the overall application and notifies students of decision and next steps.
- Accepted students will have individual placement meetings via Zoom with an on-site internship placement manager for their destination city. Students send an updated resume, discuss two to three areas of interest, and articulate goals and preferences for internship placements. The on-site placement manager will then begin connecting with potential employers on your behalf.
- Zoom interviews with employers will be facilitated by the on-site internship placement manager. These interviews will take place at varying times leading up to the start date of the program. Internship supervisors may contact students directly throughout the spring. Be prepared, respond in a timely manner, and be sure to stay in touch with your placement manager during the process.
- A placement offer is sent to students via email, including a job description, sponsor website, and previous student evaluations (if available). Placement managers take time to identify the best possible placement for each student, so this information is often sent close to the program start date. (Often one to two weeks prior to departure.)
- An on-site interview with the direct supervisor at the placement site may take place in the first few days of the program, depending on the location. There is strong competition for internship placements in the U.S., so students should prepare, act professionally, and treat this like a job interview.
Resume – Create an updated and polished resume. Schedule an appointment with the career consultant in your college via Handshake to review your resume. Look for workshops, walk-in hours, and appointments with advisors who can also help you articulate your internship goals.
Prepare a budget – Program fee, tuition, travel, meals, local travel, and personal spending money – estimate your total costs for the summer. Most forms of financial aid should apply to this total amount. Talk to the Office of Financial Aid about your personal situation and remember to look for outside scholarships as well. Planning early helps!
Research your destination – Choose the program that is the best fit for you. Research industry news in different locations and prepare questions/thoughts about industry sectors in your city. Placement managers will talk to you about expectations to make sure you’re on track. Be realistic about what can be achieved over the duration of your placement – Prioritize criteria to find the best match. For instance, if you request a large criminal law firm, is it more important to work in a larger firm, which may provide more interaction and variety, but is not specialized in criminal law, or to work in a criminal practice, no matter what size. Remember availability is also based on needs of employers and seasons and dates of each program.
Articulate internship goals – Spend time thinking about your priorities and goals. The more you prepare, the better placement managers can help you! The application includes a brief essay on why you want to pursue this program and how it fits into your overall academic interests and career goals.
Adopt a positive attitude for your phone placement interview. This is your chance to articulate your goals to the person representing you to a future internship supervisor – matching your interests to their needs. If you are open-minded, willing to listen to advice, and enthusiastic, then you’ll certainly have a positive and beneficial experience.
Give your internship some thought:
- Bring your 3 distinct internship priorities and preferences.
- What is your main goal for the internship?
- What kind of experience are you hoping to gain from your placement
- Do you want to develop existing skills or learn new ones?
- What types of tasks and responsibilities do you expect to have in your internship?
- What are your future career goals and how does this internship relate to them?
- Do you require a lot of supervision or do you prefer to work independently?
- Do you want to be given a specific project or do you enjoy being involved in a variety of tasks?
- What experience do you have and is it relevant to the kind of placements you have in mind?
The Career Services Network offers free resume workshops, walk-in hours, and appointments with a career consultant in your college. Take advantage of free on-campus services before submitting your application. The resume submitted as part of the application should be updated and polished. This is the first impression potential internship supervisors will have of you!