What is an internship?

An internship is a structured opportunity for you to learn, grow, and contribute in a professional setting. There are many variations of internships:  They might be paid or unpaid, part-time or full-time. They might be called field work, community service, volunteer work, or internships. Regardless of these variations, what makes an internship an internship are these common features.

An internship: 

  • Is a structured learning experience
  • Provides opportunities to apply classroom knowledge in a “real world” professional environment
  • Encourages you to develop and refine skills that are transferable to many work settings
  • Has a defined beginning and end
  • Includes a position description with relevant and clearly defined learning objectives
  • Provides for supervision/feedback from a professional w/ expertise and background in that field
  • Includes resources, equipment, facilities that support learning goals

Why consider an internship?

The reasons for pursuing an internship are many!
  • Explore one or more of your career interests in a realistic professional setting
  • Learn about particular industries, companies, and organizations
  • Help you decide whether a particular career direction or industry is a good fit for you
  • Develop new skills and refine the skills you already possess
  • Apply all that classroom learning in a practical setting.  (You’ll understand why they teach all that theory!)
  • Build your resume
  • Develop great examples of your skill sets for future job interviews
  • Make connections (network) with people in your future career area
  • Develop professional relationships that will be mutually beneficial in the future
  • Have fun, feel a sense of accomplishment, see yourself as an emerging professional!

Internship Resources

NACElink® lets you search for thousands of jobs nationwide. This tool is available to WGU students and alumni. You can search for entry-level and experienced-level jobs (Extended Job Search tab).
Registration Instructions:
1. Click on the NACElink logo.
2. Fill out the registration form.
InternshipPrograms is a paid/unpaid internship search engine that is an excellent tool for uncovering coveted and hard to find internships.
National internship listings searchable by geographic and industry preference. No charge for basic service.
InternMatch focuses on providing the tools and resources that make the internship model accessible to nonprofit organizations and students who seek to combine community impact with career building.
  Making the Difference
This site is part of Call to Serve, a joint initiative between the Partnership for Public Service and the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM). Dedicated to helping students learn about careers and opportunities in the federal government, the site features current information on federal jobs and internships.
Lists federal government jobs and internships for students as well as helpful information on how to apply.

  WGU National Advisory Board Career Employment Sites
WGU's National Advisory Board (NAB) was created in order to enhance the implementation of WGU's mission. We have provided a link to the employment websites for the members of the NAB. If you are applying for a position at one of these organizations, it would not hurt to mention your education at WGU in your cover letter.

Note: Links are provided only for your convenience. Any information, materials, personal opinions, or endorsements of products or services appearing on external sites are not controlled, endorsed or sponsored by Western Governors University.