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Summer Internships

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Definition: Summer internships are usually eight to twelve weeks long and can be full or part time. More students do internships during the summer than during any other time of the year. These short term experiences provide a real insight into what it’s actually like working in a particular job or career field. There’s ample time to get into a regular work routine and gain valuable knowledge and skills. Summer internships can be completed for credit but they don’t have to be. Getting credit during the summer can be helpful since it can lighten a student’s course load during fall or spring semester but the downside is that most colleges require tuition in order for student to receive credit. Check with your college since there are some colleges that permit students to roll the credit from the summer internship into the fall semester, thus requiring no additional tuition.

Usually students doing a summer internship for credit are required to pay college tuition which could leave them incurring some debt over the course of summer break if their internship is unpaid. Each student is different and I recommend that students totally evaluate their individual circumstance prior to making a decision. If a student does not need the credit to add to their college transcript, my recommendation would be to not do the internship for credit and perhaps wait and do one for credit during the fall or spring semester.

Even without receiving credit, the internship will still provide an opportunity to gain the relevant knowledge and skills required in the field as well as add an important element to the resume. Gaining relevant experience through internships, co ops, service learning, or externships and making professional contacts while there are two of the best things a student can do to prepare themselves for getting a job in their field after college.

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