It is recommended to complete at least one internship before you graduate in order to prepare yourself for the professional world. Internships can be part-time or full-time, during the semester or summer, and provide knowledge and hands-on experience in a particular career field or organization.
In addition,each fall and spring semester, our Career Fair hosts over 200 employers offering jobs and internships for Mason students. Smaller industry-specific fairs are also held throughout the year. Be sure to check the employer participant lists for each fair.
Looking outside of the area? Try Career Shift. This tool searches every career site and job board!
Speak with your academic advisor and check the course catalog to see if you can get academic credit for your internship experience within your major.
You should pursue internship opportunities as early as freshman year! Over 1,000 positions posted in HireMason each year are only for freshmen, sophomores, and juniors.
Look for paid opportunities. 60% of positions posted in HireMason are paid and the average national hourly wage for bachelor's degree-level interns is $17.20. Do a local internship during the fall or spring when your housing is already covered. Also, speak with an academic advisor about receiving credit toward your degree or major requirements for doing an internship which will free up time to continue your paid job while interning.
Prioritize completing an internship over other activities for at least one semester or summer. Internships can be part-time or full-time. You may also speak to an academic advisor about receiving credit for an internship and fitting it into your course load.
Instead of applying to advertised internships, proactively contact organizations about doing an internship with them as they may be more willing to accommodate your class or work schedule if you are essentially volunteering a few hours of your time to assist them with a project. Job shadowing or interning for a day through the Take a Patriot to Work program are other options.
What is experiential learning?
An umbrella term to include hands-on learning outside of the classroom that enhances your academic experience. The experience can vary in length but is designed to be a specific period of time and have learning outcomes.
These opportunities help you to clarify your career goals, gain valuable experience and skills to become a stronger candidate when applying for full-time jobs and graduate school, and expand your network.
Receive transcript recognition for a paid co-op, internship, Pathways position, or federal volunteer internship which is not for academic course credit. Certain requirements apply.
Spend a day with a professional in a job or company that interests you. Some organizations offer a formal externship program varying in length, usually one to three days. You can also connect with someone in the company to set up a job shadow on your own or participate in Take a Patriot to Work held each fall and spring semester.
Community-based learning includes volunteer service, community based research, and any other avenues of applying course-related skills to assist local (and sometimes global) service organizations. You can also receive course credit for community based learning.
Solidify your academic and career interests by gaining research experience alongside faculty members. Research opportunities are particularly recommended if you are considering graduate school.
Semester or summer-long study abroad experiences provide the unique opportunity for cultural immersion and language acquisition during an extended stay in a foreign country.