Your Internship Plan
You should begin planning at least two semesters prior to the time you wish to begin your internship experience.
First, take some time to think about why you want to do an internship. Ask yourself:
- What do I want to learn or achieve?
- What type of work environment is best for me?
- When do I want to do my internship? Summer? Intersession? Fall? Spring?
- Does my economic situation demand a paid position, or can it be unpaid?
- Do I want to get academic credit for this internship?
Next, use Your Internship Plan to guide your search. You will follow the same basic process when you begin your career search. Make sure you use all of the resources available to you!
- Searching for an internship is very similar to searching for a job.Significant research, planning, and preparation are required to create your ideal experience. Check out some great internship search sites.
See the Student Guide (PDF) for Internship Requirements
Creating your Own Internship: Send a Contact Email
- When you have established the type of work and/or career you want to experience through your internship, compose an email to reach out to potential companies you are interested in.
- A contact email should include:
- A brief summary about yourself
- Why you are reaching out
- Why you feel a particular company is a good match for you
- Your availability and contact information
- Post your resume for employers and search for internships and co-ops in Ohio.
- Be sure to attend the on-campus events, such as the Internship Fair, hosted by the Career Services Office. For more information regarding these events, please visit our events page.
What to Expect During an Internship Experience
- Working and Acting Like a Full-Time Employee
- You will participate, engage, and embody the role of a full-time employee. Even if you are an intern, show your employer and fellow employees your skills and abilities through projects, leadership opportunities and activities.
- Little or No "Hand-holding"
- It will be your responsibility to develop relationships with your peers and colleagues. They will likely provide help and advice if you seek it, but you must be proactive and polite. Don't wait for them to come to you.
- Office Etiquette
- You should always be mindful of your actions.Internships can be thought of as an "ongoing interview," as your professionalism will be constantly evaluated by the company. You will need to understand and abide by the rules and policies of your company.
- Embracing Teamwork
- It will be in your best interest to form good relationships with your colleagues and peers. Chances are you will be collaborating on projects and activities.
- Keep a Record of Tasks Completed
- This will prove useful when updating your resume. Ask for feedback on your projects and note improvements when necessary.
- See how an intern typically spends their day (PNG). (Image by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, 2015)
Leaving a Good Impression
- Even if you did not enjoy your overall experience during your internship, you should still make the effort to end your time with the company on a positive note.
- If you are interested in a full-time position, let your supervisor know! Ask for advice for the best ways to pursue the opportunity.
- Send proper "goodbye" emails to all those you worked with on your last day. Be sure to provide your contact information to keep in touch and connect.
- Transition incomplete projects by documenting your process and debriefing full-time employees.
Important Internship Links
Of alumni that had internships while at SSU, 64.4% reported the experience leading to a job after graduation.
"It really confirmed for me that what I am doing is what I want to do for the rest of my life."
Tiffany Chandler, Interned at Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant
"It's a really rewarding experience, because I get to relate something that I enjoy so much, which is my major, to my work."
Matthew DeCharme, Interned at Yost Engineering Inc. (YEI)
"I am always looking at different jobs online, just to get myself prepared on what jobs are out there for me. I noticed that almost every job requires a little bit of experience ahead of time... So I figured having an internship would help me get my feet wet and get an idea of what type of work I am going to be looking at."
Hayley Burchett, Interned at Main Street Portsmouth
"I thought it would be great for my resume, but also it would be great to start in a business and really learn the way they run their corporate company."
Amanda Clausing, Interned at Enterprise
"If I were to get a job somewhere else, I'd have that experience with the police department, and I could apply what I learned to a job position."
Katie Gregory, Interned with the Portsmouth Police Department
"Classes give you a lot of theoretical knowledge, but you know, when you go work and you're actually doing it, you gain a lot of practical knowledge. This allows you to refine what you have learned in the classroom."
Kyle Webb, Interned at Yost Engineering Inc. (YEI)