Common Internship Questions

What are the benefits of an internship?

Internships provide many benefits, including:

  • Gaining valuable work experience before you graduate
  • Connecting with potential employers
  • Developing new skills and knowledge
  • Discovering and discerning career-related interests
  • Establishing a network of connections and mentors
  • Applying knowledge gained from coursework to on-the-job situations

How do I find an internship?

We encourage you to schedule an appointment with a Career Advisor to launch your search. They can discuss search strategies, identify approaches in your industry, review your application materials, and help you build your network. Appointments can be made through the Opportunities Board.

When should I start looking for an internship?

It is never too early to start building experience! So, in terms of your academic progress, we encourage you to start looking for internships during your first year at PLU.

In thinking about what point during the year to look, the hiring timeline varies by industry. In general, for summer internships it is best to start applying the fall term before. For fall or spring internships, it is recommended that you apply for internships the semester before. For accounting and finance, many organizations hire up to 9 months in advance. For large technology organizations, some opportunities are recruited for 12+ months in advance. Consult a Career Advisor for the most up to date information by industry.

Can I register for credit for my internship?

In many cases, you can receive academic credit. PLU offers internship credit in your major, as well as general elective internship credit. It is important to note that you can only receive credit during the term in which you are completing the internship. For example, you may not receive credit in Fall for a summer internship. Consult a Career Advisor for more information.

In addition, it is important to know that internship credit costs the same as regular course credit. Consult Student Financial Services for more information.

I would like to receive credit for an internship abroad. What do I do?

Start early by scheduling an appointment with a Career Advisor to review the process of receiving credit for an international academic internship. There are a number of forms required for internships abroad, and students must submit all forms before starting their internship. Our Career Advisors are available to assist students by appointment throughout the process and to answer questions.

How do internships impact financial aid?

For financial aid purposes, it is important that you submit your paperwork on time to ensure you are registered for the correct number of credits.

Furthermore, paid internships could impact your eligibility for financial aid the following year since it counts towards taxable income.

If you have Work Study as a part of your award and find a Work Study position in your career field, you may qualify to take it as an internship! Connect with Student Financial Services for more detailed information.

What wage can I expect?

Internships can be paid or unpaid. Wage varies by industry, position type, location, and the experience and skills required. In the Seattle/Tacoma area, it is not unusual to find positions that start at $15.74 per hour. 

If you have been offered a summer internship which is unpaid, you may be eligible to receive funding through the PLU Internship Fund.

How has COVID-19 impacted internships?

The impact of COVID-19 varies by industry, organization, and location. Many organizations are hiring for remote or virtual internships, which means that opportunities in other parts of the country may be more accessible now. In addition, some organizations are offering hybrid experiences, where the intern would occasionally go to the place of work.

What is a Micro-Internship?

Micro-Internships are short-term, paid, professional experiences that typically consist of 10 to 50 hours of work total. These experiences are project-based with clear deliverables and a set deadline to complete the work. They are a great way to build skills, make connections, and explore organizations and opportunities!