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All About Internships

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Gain Skills and Experience for Your Future Career

When you’re in college, thinking about the future can sometimes feel intimidating. Internships are a great way to bridge the gap between college and the workforce. At the University of Arizona, we make it easy to find all the resources you’ll need to navigate this process.

What is an internship? How do I find one? 

Internships give students a taste of what the professional world is like. They can be paid or unpaid, full-time or part-time, remote or in-person, and you can find one in just about any field you want. 

Students can find internships through their University of Arizona account on Handshake or by connecting with Student Engagement and Career Development (SECD). You can also check out other job sites like LinkedIn or work with professors to find opportunities. 

Before you apply, take some time to work on your résumé. SECD has resources to help and you can even get personalized feedback. Through LifeLab, you can also get individualized career coaching for any step of the process, from identifying your goals to preparing for interviews. 

What are the benefits of doing an internship?

Meet Mariella Rodriguez, a public health and Spanish major who has already completed one internship and is finishing her second. Last summer, she did an internship in language interpretation with Maricopa Superior Court in Phoenix. 

Since she wants to work as a court interpreter after college, this internship gave Mariella valuable experience and connections in the field.

“Completing this internship made me sure of what I want to do and that I will enjoy it,” she said.

Now, Mariella is working with Amistades, a local nonprofit organization that serves Latino communities in Pima County. This is her second semester doing this internship, and she has been able to get credit for both Spanish and public health. 

“Interning at Amistades has given me the opportunity to see what kind of jobs are out there and speak to colleagues who have already entered the work environment so they have a lot of advice on how to proceed,” she said. 

What opportunities are there at the University of Arizona? 

The perfect internship for you might be right here on-campus. Eli Burke is the senior program manager of design projects at Arizona and explained this unique program of “mircrointernships” completed through SECD. 

The Design Thinking internship is a 10-week program that requires students to work 10 hours per week, with a flexible schedule. They are paid internships and priority is given to applicants who have a federal work study award.

“The internships were created this way to offer opportunities to more non-traditional students, or students who wouldn’t typically take advantage of an internship,” Burke said.

SECD partners with different community organizations or businesses that provide a challenge for students to solve over the course of their internship. This means each semester provides a completely different experience, and students are welcome to repeat the program.

“It offers lots of ways to gain experience that’s both transferable skills and specific to your industry,” Burke said.

These internships emphasize the process of design thinking, or problem solving with a human-centered approach. Students in the program get to be creative and work with students of many different disciplines. 

Liz Glenn is a geosciences major who was part of the first class of Design Thinking interns. She now serves as a student mentor for the program. 

“I think internships are the best way to learn what you want to do,” she said. “Do as many as you can while you’re in college. Handshake and SECD are both fantastic resources for seeking out internships.”

Find more information about internships and careers at Learn more about Design Thinking or apply for this summer session on Handshake

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