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Career Services
A Job Today, A Career Tomorrow

Students » Internships

Introduction

In today’s job market, employers are seeking individuals who have experience in the workplace. This experience is crucial for graduating seniors looking for a job. The best way to prepare for entering the work place after graduation is to do an internship. The Office of Career Services can assist students with seeking out opportunities which will provide them with real work experience.

The main goal of this web page is to give you the information necessary to have a successful experience. For starters, internships offer a unique experience.

Internships

"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."

Internship basics

  • Usually one-semester term experience, sometimes more as determined by employer.
  • Often in the summer, though not always, as per employer.
  • Full-time or part-time; as determined by employer.
  • May be paid or unpaid; and in accordance with U.S. Department of Labor Fact Sheet #71 Internship Programs under the Fair Labor Standards Act.
  • Academic-level determined by employer:
    Whether open to freshmen, sophomores, juniors, seniors, graduate students.
  • Sometimes for academic credit: Academic credit can only be granted by an academic department, and involves paying tuition. You should absolutely make yourself aware of opportunities and requirements in your academic department.
  • These factors vary by career field, by employer, and by practices in academic departments.

The goal of Career Services internship program is to prepare students for their careers by providing meaningful work experiences, professional contacts to the community, and intellectually challenging opportunities. Students will be held to the highest expectations and will have the full support of Career Services during the internship.

Various fall, spring, and summer internship opportunities are listed and updated daily on the Bronc Career Connection, and are available to any student currently enrolled at University of Texas-Pan American in good academic standing (at least a 2.00 GPA) and completed 30 hours of academic credit.

Because the career selection process can be complex and engaging, students are encouraged to participate in the internship program as early as the sophomore year. This provides at least a possibility of at least three work-based learning experiences that will significantly increase your confidence in making your career choice. Though these are the minimum requirements set by the Career Services Office, employers will outline specific requirements and deadlines for application submission that must also be met.

FAQ:

Q: When do internships occur?

A: Fall: September - mid-December
Spring: January - mid-May
Summer: May/June - mid-August

Q: Who can do an internship?

A: Sophomores, Juniors and Seniors
Graduate Students

Q: What is the difference between an internship for credit vs. non-credit?

A: An internship for credit involves a site supervisor, a faculty/academic advisor and the student intern. The student must meet with their faculty or academic advisor to complete any internship requirements or assignments as directed, have the internship site and credit hours approved by their faculty/academic advisor, then register for the internship as an assigned class or as directed by your faculty/academic advisor. Both field duties and academic work is expected of the student. Clocked hours, credit, a grade and an evaluation complete the experience. A non-credit internship involves a site supervisor, the Internship Program and the student intern. Students must register with the Office of Career Services on Bronc Career Connection and obtain approval or go through an interview process with an employer for site approval. No credit or grade is required.

Q: Can interns be paid?

A: Yes, we offer both paid and unpaid internships currently listed in our Bronc Career Connection database. Compensation is generally commensurate with experience and varies by industry and demand. Stipends are also an option that employers might consider.

Q: What is the GPA requirement for an internship?

A: GPA may be higher in some academic departments or as required by employer.

Q: What is the "internship academic component?"

A: When the faculty or academic advisor approves a student for internship credit, he/she will administer/assign an academic component to the internship. An example might be the student keeping a weekly log or journal of their internship experience or writing an 8-10 page paper on a selected topic. Faculty or the academic advisor will instruct the student on the process of required assignments or scheduled meetings.

Q: How does an employer list an internship with the Office of Career Services?

A: Career Services houses all internship descriptions posted by each organization in the Bronc Career Connection. Employers create a profile at utpa.edu/careerservices
Career Services will activate each new employer profile within one-two full business days. You will then be able to log in with a username and password. Employers must provide a complete job description and have been in operation for at least one year.

Q: Does Career Services provide placements for student interns?

A: No, the Career Services Office acts as a clearinghouse of internship resources and opportunities for students. Students normally apply to 2-3 internship sites, interview and select organizations that will offer a practical work experience in which they have the opportunity to learn new skills, network and apply classroom theory in a professional setting.

Q: What is the difference between an internship and a coop?

A: Internships are usually 4 months in length. Typically, internships are offered each regular semester and during the summer. Some organizations only offer internships over the summer lasting 8-12 weeks. Involvement may be part-time, for as little as 10 –20 hours a week or full time (35-40 hours). Full time internships typically take place during the summer.

Co-ops generally involve getting more experience through multiple work terms, while internships are a one term arrangement. For example: Full time one year term commitment (12 months), or summer and fall (7 months) or spring and summer (7 months).

Tip: DON’T skip doing an internship because you are in a rush to graduate! You are going to be out of college for most of your life. If you graduate with less experience than your peers, your job search may be tougher!