Setting Yourself Up for Success Whether You Work On-Campus or Intern Off-Campus in the Summer

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Many students work on campus during the semester, while others seek outside campus work experiences or internships. As an international student, you will need to factor in your student visa regulations for internships, staying on campus v. non-campus housing, going home v. staying in the U.S., having an internship that pays v. an unpaid internship, and whether the internship meets a short term objective or long term objective. Most students will seek an internship during the summer to develop skills, build their resume, and explore their interests. During the semester, you are limited by the number of hours you can intern because of your studies and your studies must alway take priority. During the summer, you can invest more time and take on more substantive projects. How do you make the most of each situation?

Working on Campus

If you are working on campus, do the following:

-see if you can get credit for the internship if it is not paid;

-work for a professor or department related to your career interests;

-attend networking opportunities and learning events that will help you building connections with people who have similar interests or help you develop new skills; and

-make sure to use your time off to pursue a hobby related to your career interest.

Interning Off Campus

If you are interning off campus, do the following:

-make sure your student visa allows to pursue the internship;

-it is related to your field of study;

-pursue an internship where you will learn skills and/or have the opportunity to develop writing/work samples that you can use for future job applications;

-seek opportunities for mentorship from your supervisor; 

-take initiative on projects and seek opportunities to network; and

-learn what qualifications you would need to be hired for a full-time position with the employer. 

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