What is an Internship?

An internship allows you to engage in a short-term real work experience with an emphasis on training, mentor, network, earn academic credit, build your professional resume, and test out a career path. An internship, unlike a part-time job, is a pre-professional work experience in which the student has intentional learning goals. Internships involve the application of academic learning in the "real world of work". Any SMC student, with any major, any class level can do an internship. However, some internships require a certain class level, GPA, or specific classes.

How do I find an internship?

  •  Find an Internship (GaeLink)
  • Internship books in Career Center & Library.
  • Career & Internship Fair - In October.
  • Networking. Ask everyone you know (parents, neighbors, friends, professional contacts,) if they know of any internship opportunities. 
  • Holiday parties are a great place to network.
  • Make your own internship. Meet with Paula Conrad, the Internship Coordinator to learn how. Call (925) 631-4600 to make an appointment.

What if I'm not sure what I want to do?

Career Counselors at the Career Center will help you choose a career path that matches your personality and interests. This is done by utilizing career assessments.

When can I do an internship?

Anytime. Most are specified as Fall, Spring, or Summer. Some internship programs have deadlines for applying.

How many hours do I need to work?

Fall & Spring internships are usually 10-15 hrs/week. Summer internships vary from 15-40 hrs/week.

I don't have 2 full days to work because of my school schedule, can I still do an internship?

Yes! Employers know they have to be flexible when it comes to students work schedules.

How do I apply for an internship?

Same as a job. Follow the employers' instructions, which is usually faxing or e-mailing your resume & cover letter.

What salary can I expect?

Salaries vary according to experience and skills required, year in school, type of position, type of employer, industry, and location. For student internships in the Bay Area, the average range is from $10-$12/hour. Some offer a stipend, which is a lump sum of money at the end of the internship. "Unpaid" internships consider the training the student receives is payment for work completed.

Can I get academic credit for my internship?

Yes.

  • Fill out the online. Internship Petition Form
  • The student is responsible for filling out the form and finding a faculty member who is willing to sponsor them during the internship. Your faculty sponsor and the Department Chair will need to sing the petition form as well.
  • The student needs to discuss the expectations and terms of the internship with the faculty sponsor and agree to those terms as part of the course requirements. A bibliography of books read during the internship, a written report, set meetings with the sponsor, or a final exam may be expected in order to receive credit.
  • Once the petition form is completed, either the student or the faculty member will forward it to the Registrar for final preparation.
  • This petition is to be filed with the Registrar's Office no later than the end of drop/add period.

How can I find a summer internship outside of the Bay Area?

Many colleges are open to allowing other students use their job & internship listings. This is called reciprocal services. You may call Paula Conrad, Internship Coordinator, to request reciprocal services.

Some students have successfully found internships using the Internet. Check the Internship Websites on the Career Center website.

How do I increase my chances of getting a job after the internship?

Attitude is everything! Always perform your best and pay attention to business etiquette! Dress appropriately, use the phone & internet only for business, ask for more work when you finish yours. Do not: surf the internet use Facebook, gossip, read a book when you finish your project.

If you have a quick, general question, e-mail Paula Conrad, Internship Coordinator at pconrad@stmarys-ca.edu. To make an appointment for general or career field-specific internship advising, call (925) 631-4600.
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