Internships & Co-ops

What is an internship?

An internship is an opportunity that combines learning with work and offers a unique experience for career exploration. The essential component is that as you are working, you have structured and intentional objectives to learn about a career field.

Types of internships

Internships can be full- or part-time, short- or long-term, paid or unpaid, for credit or not for credit, self-directed or mentor-led, or any combination thereof. Some employers have formal internship programs while others only offer internships on an informal basis.

In addition, faculty-supervised research, high-impact student jobs, client-centered projects, service learning activities, studio-based projects, independent studies, student teaching and leadership roles with student organizations have many of the attributes of a traditional internship, and can be just as valuable to a prospective employer.

Why you should pursue an internship

  • Explore potential careers
  • Learn how to conduct a job search
  • Build work-related skills
  • Experience a "3-month interview"
  • Network with people in your field
  • Become more marketable for your future job search

Before you begin your internship search, you should reflect on:

  • Your interests, strengths, skills and experiences
  • The skills you hope to gain or refine through an internship
  • The types of careers that interest you
  • Other career choices that may be available to you

How can you create your own internship?

  • Interview with employers who recruit at Miami. 
  • Contact employers in particular fields or cities that interest you.
  • Network with friends, relatives, alumni, faculty.
  • Participate in informational interviews. 

The Requirements to participate in a Co-op or Internship

  • Full- or part-time Miami University student, actively taking classes
  • Complete the Career Services & Professional Development Internship Application
  • Have an updated resume on file
  • Maintain a minimum cumulative 2.2 GPA and a 2.5 or higher in the major
  • Have completed 12 credit hours, with at least nine hours in the technical skill area in which you are seeking a co-op/internship

The following steps should help you navigate the internship process

  1. Complete our Internship Application.
  2. Find your experiential learning opportunity. Join Handshake to begin the search process.
  3. Once you have been offered an internship/co-op opportunity AND accepted the position, complete the Student Internship/Co-op Contract. Once this form is received in our office, and has been approved by the employer, our office will enroll you in the proper Internship course.
  4. At the end of your internship/co-op, the employer will complete the Employer Evaluation Form, which must be turned into the Career Services & Professional Development office to receive course credit. 

Search tips

  1. No single search resource captures all the internships that are available to you.
  2. Many internships are available only through networking, job shadowing and informational interviews.
  3. Utilize the internship /co-op search timetable checklist to support you through your individual search.

Here are some Best Practices to consider when planning your Internship Search

  • Have a target list of employers. Conduct informational interviews, job shadow, and conduct research.
  • Network your way into organizations using LinkedIn, your peers, and any other available networking opportunities. 
  • Understand your personal brand. 
  • Volunteer. If you find an organization whose mission aligns with your personal values, volunteer with them. Volunteering is a fantastic way to find a sense of purpose, and make valuable networking connections.
  • Create an elevator pitch that sounds like you. 
  • Communicate your plans and details of your search with the people you know. The more people who know you're looking, the more people that are empowered to help find connections or opportunities for you.