An internship isn't just a temporary job. It can be a bridge to your life's work or an experiment in a career that interests you. Maybe you've heard a lot about them from parents, counselors, or a co-worker who used one to transition from another field. You might be wondering, "What's in it for me?"

If you've got questions about whether interning is the right way to achieve your career goals, this is the place to start. We'll begin with the basic definition and move to answering many of the most common questions students have about taking on the role of an intern. As you continue through this section, you will also learn more about our program and if it is the right fit for you.

What is an Internship?

The Random House Dictionary defines the word as:
“Any official or formal program to provide practical experience for beginners in an occupation or profession.”

The main difference between an apprenticeship and an internship is that internships are more exploratory. You're not bound to work for your employer after the internship is over (although many interns do receive job offers). If you start early enough to do a few internships throughout college, you can use the first internship(s) to get a feel for what career you'd like to pursue and then use later internships to build your experience.

Internships can be paid or unpaid — though, if they are unpaid, they’re usually subject to stringent labor guidelines. In the U.S., federal law mandates that unpaid interns must not benefit the company economically or be used to displace the work done by paid employees. Some states have their own regulations regarding interns.

Though employment isn’t guaranteed at the end of an internship, many employers use internships as a way to train and evaluate future employees.

Articles About Internships 

21 Ways to Make the Most of Your Internship | Huffington Post | July 29, 2015

Study suggests it's the extras that help you find a great job after college | USA Today | May 11, 2015

College is worth it if you have these six experiences | Quartz | April 17, 2015

Students with poor grades may benefit the most from internships | The Chronicle of Higher Education | December 3, 2014

Are internships the secret weapon for hiring young talent into government? | FCW | November 4, 2014

The internship: Generation i | The Economist | September 6, 2014