The Benefits of Internships
Internships and other hands-on experiences are invaluable and we encourage students to begin looking for these opportunities during their first year at PLU. Some of the benefits our students have shared with us after completing an internship include:
- Applying skills learned in the classroom to the workplace
- Gaining hands-on experience to add to a resume/cover letter
- Contributing meaningful work to a company or organization
- Making connections with potential employers
- Getting feedback and mentorship from employees in a field of interest
For more information about internships, explore the FAQ’s page.
A note to employers: because students bring valuable insight, energy, and ideas to new and existing projects and operations, employers also benefit from offering internships.
Explore the many ways to get involved:
Internships provide substantive work experiences that includes training and supervision, while providing opportunities for students to develop new skills and acquire knowledge. As a result, many employers prefer to hire students who participate in internships because they gain practical experience.
- Are typically a semester in duration (fall, spring, or summer)
- May or may not carry academic credit
- Can be paid or unpaid
Micro-internships are short-term, professional assignments that are project-based. While shorter than internships, they still offer training and supervision, and provide opportunities for skill development and acquiring knowledge.
To start exploring and applying to micro-internships, check out PLU’s site for micro-internship opportunities, Parker Dewey.
Cooperative Education (Co-op)
Cooperative education typically refers to alternating classroom learning and paid work experiences in a field directly related to the student’s academic or career goals. In many cases, the co-op is a full-time work experience that requires the student to not enroll in additional courses during the term. Co-ops may be eligible for academic credit.
Volunteers perform a service without pay to support a cause. Opportunities include one-time assistance or continual service. Students can gain skills and knowledge, and experience workplaces through service.
Job shadowing provides an initial “day in the life” exposure to a career, industry, and organization through the experience of “shadowing” an experienced employee. Activities may include a tour of the workplace, observing employee activities, meeting with members of the organization, involvement in projects, or attending meetings. This is a great opportunity to build connections and better understand the work environment.
To explore job shadow opportunities, start with LuteLink. Explore the community and use the “Help Topics” filter to search for PLU alumni who may be interested in hosting a job shadow.
Simulations and Hackathons
Simulations or hackathons aim to imitate a system, entity, phenomenon, or process. Both can allow experiments to be conducted or innovations to be created and are opportunities to build new skills, make connections, and gain experience.
Internship Funding and Scholarships:
Each year Alumni & Student Connections solicits applications from qualified PLU students who need assistance paying for internship-related expenses. To learn more about the specifics of each scholarship and to find out if you’re eligible, explore each of the sites below.