Internships, Externships & Volunteering


  • So, what does this mean for the internship or job seeker?
  • All of the people that told you networking is important ― they’re not wrong
  • Informational interviewing is one of the most effective ways to reach the hidden job market
  • Attend professional events and programs, both on and off campus

Whether you’re searching for an internship or a job, there are many effective ways to find a newposition―there is no one magic strategy. It’s important to use a combination of approaches in your search to find a position that’s valuable to you and to not miss out on great opportunities to explore areas of interest.

It’s not enough to simply apply online; in fact, the way most people search for positions online is the exact opposite of how most employers prefer to recruit. Internship and job boards are a good resource, but connections are what will help you tap into the “hidden job market” and land the 80% of jobs that are not posted.

-University of Portland


-The University of Iowa

Career Exploration
  • Learn about a career field from the inside and decide if this is the right career field for you
  • Work alongside a professional in your chosen career area
  • Observe the workplace and see if it matches expectations
  • Gain knowledge about a specific industry
Leadership & Skill Development
  • Experience – One of the recurring themes in any entry level job search is lack of experience. “Where do I get experience if no one is willing to hire me?” The answer is simple: Get out there and get an internship, externship or volunteer!
  • Learn new skills and add to your knowledge base while gaining confidence in your abilities
  • Opportunity to practice communication and teamwork skills
  • Provide evidence that you have initiative, are reliable, and have a sense of responsibility
  • Apply some of the ideas learned in school and provide a bridge between school and the professional world
  • Achieve a sense of accomplishment by contributing to an organization
  • An internship offers you the chance to learn by doing in a setting where you are supervised by a work-place professional and have the opportunity to achieve your own learning goals, without the responsibilities of being a permanent employee.
Networking & Establishing Mentors & References
  • Meet new people and practice networking skills while establishing a network of professional contacts, mentors, and references
  • Open to door to advice on the next steps to take on your career path
  • Gain valuable experience and accomplishments to add to your resume and/or enhance your application to graduate school
  • Create an advantage over other job or graduate school applicants
  • Potential for a full-time job offer at the end of the experience based on your performance



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. – NACE

Internships provide abundant benefits to students, employers, and the labor market community. When organizations are hiring, they seek out students or grads who have participated in an internship because it shows that the student has an interest in their chosen field and will not require as much training or long learning period as someone with no relevant experience.


To job shadow an individual, typically a respected professional within an industry or workplace a student has interest in pursuing. Externships are typically held for short time period lasting anywhere from a single day to eight weeks and are often held over a student’s winter or spring break whereas internships tend to be eight weeks long at minimum.


Along with contributing to your community, volunteering experience is a great way to stand out to employers. It shows that you are willing to help others, exhibiting teamwork skills and compassion. Many of the skills you develop as a volunteer may also be relevant to your career. In this article, we share important skills for volunteering and ways you can use them to get your next job.

Volunteering offers a space in which to gain new skills, connect with new people, experience something different, and give back to the community.



Career Center Manager

(541) 677-5575


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Email: info-education@cowcreek-nsn.gov

Phone: 541.677.5575

Fax: 541.677.5574