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Internships & Externships

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Often considered one of the most significant related experiences on a resume, internships are intentional, structured opportunities where you can apply what you are learning in your courses in a professional setting that is also a learning environment.

Internships may be paid or unpaid and completed for academic credit or non-credit bearing. While some employers will be looking for juniors or seniors for their internships, there are options for students of all class years. These experiences typically span across a semester or summer and can be full-time or part-time.

With an internship experience, you can:

  • Test out a company and career to determine if it is the right path for you.
  • Develop and enhance transferable and industry-specific skills.
  • Build professional networking connections and valuable references.
  • Learn what it's like to be a professional member of the field you are entering.
  • Gain a better understanding of how your coursework applies in a professional setting.
  • Get your "foot in the door" at a company.

Search For InternshipsGet Academic Credit

Why should I intern?

As work in every profession and industry transforms at extraordinary speed, internships and other work-integrated experiences play an increasingly critical role in professional success. 

Employers responding to a National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) Job Outlook 2021 Spring Update (PDF) indicated that internship experience — both with the hiring organization and within its industry — is the most influential factor they consider when deciding between two otherwise equally qualified job candidates.

Top 10 Internship Tips

Top 10 Internship Tips
  1. Utilize a variety of resources to explore options and identify potential opportunities, including TribeCareers and our internship search resources. Set up job alerts on TribeCareers and any other platforms that have that feature.
  2. Research employers through Vault (click on "Sign up for free", then enter your W&M email address).
  3. Start early, knowing that different industries have different search timelines, and stay organized.
  4. You will need a well-written, targeted resume and cover letter for most internship applications.
  5. Consider if the opportunity fits your values, skills, and goals and what you will gain from participating in the opportunity.
  6. Networking results in 80% of offers, so be sure to hone your networking skills.  Everyone you know should know you’re looking for an internship.  You never know who they may know.
  7. Check out these tips for avoiding online scams if you’re concerned about whether or not internship postings are legitimate.
  8. If you’re interning in a location other than where you live, here are some summer housing resources.
  9. Participating in an unpaid summer internship?  Apply for Funding for Unpaid or Underfunded Student Experiences (F.U.S.E.)
  10. Looking to earn academic credit for an internship? Arrange academic credit for your internship.


Micro-internships are short-term, project-based experiences. The Office of Career Development & Professional Engagement partners with Parker Dewey, a platform that facilitates posting and recruiting for paid, predominately virtual, micro-internships for a variety of organizations across many industries. Register as a career launcher to view and apply for available opportunities.


An externship is a brief (1-2 day) job shadowing opportunity. During these experiences, students have the opportunity to develop a deeper understanding of the field that they are considering, learn about an organization’s culture, and begin to develop a stronger professional network. The Office of Career Development & Professional Engagement facilitates an externship program over winter break. These are typically posted in October, and students can find and apply for these externships through TribeCareers (filter by position type: Externship/Shadow). Students from any class year and any industry interest can benefit from the experience! The Office of Career Development & Professional Engagement can also help guide students in setting up their own externship experiences.

Funding for Unpaid or Underfunded Student Experiences (F.U.S.E.)

With the help of generous donors, the Office of Career Development & Professional Engagement and campus partners are able to offer several sources of funding for unpaid and underfunded internship opportunities.


Contact Lisa Randolph at [[lrandolph]].