Internships are an invaluable way to gain practical skills, network and affirm interest in a potential career. Whether earning academic credit or for experience alone, internships allow you to build a professional network that can make the future job search less stressful. Students who complete internships often get hired sooner and report higher starting salaries — that’s why 75 percent of UNH Manchester’s academic programs require an internship, job shadow or applied project before graduation. Connect with your faculty advisor to see if an internship is required for your major and to find out the requirements and parameters for academic internships.
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Search Tips and Best Practices
When should I begin my internship search?
An internship search mirrors a job search. It is recommended that you begin searching for an internship at least one semester prior to when you plan to intern. For more well-established internship programs at large companies or federal agencies, you should begin searching a year in advance. Larger established internship programs have small recruitment windows for internships with hard deadlines for applications.
How do I find an internship?
Network. Most internships are found through networking, or building relationships with people in your industry of interest. Start with the people you know in person—share what kind of experience you are looking for and ask for further advice and connections. Engage new contacts through informational interviews.
Attend career events. A great way to start building a professional network is to meet industry professionals in person and learn about their company and open positions. Attend the UNH Career and Internship Fair, join local professional associations and be sure to check out Handshake for a list of upcoming networking events and employer information sessions.
Search online job boards. There are a wealth of online resources to help you find internship opportunities, including:
- LinkedIn Jobs
- Stay Work Play: Internships
- Company websites. Internships may be available even if a company does not have positions posted online—establish a relationship to find out about opportunities.
Utilize Career and Professional Success. Our team is here to help you explore, prepare and apply for internships and other experiential learning opportunities. We offer one-on-one advising sessions for internships and career planning as well as an Internship Search Boot Camp each semester. SIGN UP FOR AN ADVISING SESSION OR BOOT CAMP ON HANDSHAKE
What internship experience do I want?
Identifying employers that fit your desired experience is a great place to start your internship search. Check out LinkedIn’s "See Alumni" feature to see where UNH students with your major are working. If location is important, contact or browse the website of your local Chamber of Commerce to learn about companies in your area. Here's a list of career exploration resources to help during your search. Be sure to consider:
- Type of work
- Number of hours required
- Time of year
- Paid vs. non-paid
- Location and size of company
- For profit vs. nonprofit
- Supervisor style
- Your work values
- Internship, applied project or job shadow opportunity
How do I apply for an internship?
To apply for an internship, you'll likely need to submit a resume and cover letter. The best materials are tailored to the internship description and match the relevant key words in the industry. Stop by our office between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Monday through Friday to have a Career Peer help you with your materials, or get instant feedback on your resume with UNH's free artificial intelligence software VMOCK. We also recommend you have a professional and up-to-date LinkedIn profile for employers to look at.
Getting Credit for Your Internship
To receive academic credit for your internship, job shadow or applied project, there are three steps you must complete:
Each program has different requirements for registering for academic credit, so it is vital to connect with your faculty advisor well in advance to understand these procedures. Failure to do so could result in missed deadlines and opportunities. Be sure to discuss:
- How many on-site hours are required
- Program-specific deadlines for having an internship established in the semester
- Acceptable sites/jobs and whether you can use a current employer
- Options for your required experiential learning (internship, job shadow, applied project, etc.)
- How to register for the course and if permission and/or pre-requisites are required
You must Request an Experience on Handshake in order to fully receive credit for your internship course. If you do not complete steps one and two on Handshake before the final drop date of each semester, you will be dropped from the internship course and will not receive academic credit. You may complete the information in Handshake with your site supervisor, or gather the information to input later. The following is what you will need to know in order to complete the Request an Experience form:
- Company/Organization name and address
- On-site supervisor’s full name, title, phone number and email address
- Estimated number of hours you are interning/shadowing/working there each week
- Whether the experience is paid, unpaid or stipend. If paid, you must report the pay amount.
- Job description and/or offer letter
- Faculty advisor's full name and email address
- Semester in which your internship will take place
- Course you are or will be registered in for academic credit
- At least three learning objectives of your experience (these should be developed and approved with your faculty advisor)
Let your on-site supervisor know that the University of New Hampshire Internship Coordinator will reach out to them at the start of the semester to verify the internship/job shadow/applied project, mid-semester to check in and at the end of the semester to send a final evaluation for them to complete about the student.
Once you submit steps one and two of the Request an Experience form, you must monitor your request on Handshake to ensure all approvals go through. Be sure to set up email alerts and check frequently until your internship has been fully approved. Handshake will notify you if your faculty advisor or non-UNH internship site supervisor request changes or do not approve your internship. A typical internship approval should take no longer than two weeks to be completed. Contact your faculty advisor directly for questions about your academic responsibilities for the internship.
Internship Advising for Faculty
Academic Internships are a two step process:
- Faculty meet with students to vet their internship for pre-approval, give permission to register for the internship course, and determine the academic component for their internship.
- Faculty advise students to submit their internship information to Handshake. Submission confirms, UNH has a record of internships and can ensure employer adherence to policy and laws.