Basically, an internship is a period of work experience offered by an organization for a limited period of time. Internships should also be learning opportunities where students can explore their field of study in a professional environment.

Let’s face it, in today's global marketplace, employers can choose the most talented candidates from anywhere on earth—even graduate degrees no longer guarantee prime positions.

One old adage does seems to still hold true: "You can't get a job without experience, but you won't gain experience until you have a job." The purpose of an internship is to provide real-world experience that enables you to put everything you've learned into action. An internship can help you gain skills that can be applied to future jobs.

So why do you need an internship? In a word: employability.

Since the main purpose of an internship is to gain work experience, yes, or at least some field you think you might be interested in. An internship experience can affirm that you’re on the right track or it can suggest you reconsider your options.

Most majors at the University of Mississippi offer internship courses. Talk to your academic advisor to determine which course fits your degree requirements and what types of internships could best fit your major.

No internship is wasted, however, because of the core competencies* inherent in all internships:

  • Critical Thinking/Problem Solving
  • Oral/Written Communications
  • Teamwork/Collaboration
  • Information Technology Application
  • Leadership
  • Professionalism/Work Ethic
  • Career Management

* National Association of Colleges and Employers: Career Readiness Defined

There are no right or wrong answers to this question, but there are certain pros and cons about your choice of timing.

Although your career interests and your workplace skills might not be that developed as a sophomore, an internship can be a good place to start weeding out potential major choices and career paths. Even a part-time internship at this stage will help you develop basic workplace skills like managing time, taking initiative and communicating in a professional manner.

The downside to interning too early in your college career is that your career interests might be unclear. An internship you’ve committed to can feel overwhelming if you discover early on that you don’t enjoy this type of work. You also have not taken the upper division courses in your major that can provide you with stronger qualifications and knowledge as you head into an internship. As a result, you might get better projects as a junior or senior than you would as a sophomore. You are also more likely to receive an offer for permanent employment with the organization the closer you are to graduation.

The Internship Experience accepts applications from rising juniors, seniors, recent-graduates, and graduate students.

Summer internships allow you more freedom, in general, since you have a wider choice of options such as interning part-time or full-time. Being able to intern full-time will give you a clearer sense of what the workplace is really like and will give you more opportunities to take on and complete intensive projects. Student-athletes typically have more availability during summer without extensive practice and travel schedules. More companies offer internships during the summer (in fact some only offer summer internships.)

If you decide to complete a summer internship, make sure you plan your course schedule carefully to maximize blocks of time when you can be at your internship. Interns rarely get to work on meaningful projects if they are only able to be in the organization a couple of hours here and there. Take advantage of any academic credit available for completing your internship. Use semester internships to clarify your career direction and build your network to secure additional work experience.

It depends on the type of internship.

Internships exist in a wide variety of industries and settings. An internship can be paid, unpaid, or partially paid (in the form of a stipend). Internships may be part-time or full-time and are usually flexible with students' schedules. A typical internship lasts between one and four months, but can be shorter or longer, depending on the organization involved. The act of job shadowing may also constitute interning.


Costs associated with an internship include tuition, relocation, housing, transportation, food, and possibly appropriate clothing.

The Internship Experience fee covers pre-departure activities, furnished housing, group activities during "welcome week," and an employer appreciation activity.

Not included in the Internship Experience fee are tuition, travel to the internship city, daily meals, ground transportation, and personal spending money.


Atlanta participants live in apartments at Georgia Tech University near midtown, located a few blocks away from Centennial Olympic Park, Coca-Cola’s Headquarters, and the National Center for Civil and Human Rights.

New York participants live in a residence hall complex at the St. George Residence in Brooklyn Heights, just one subway stop from lower Manhattan. The St. George Residence is a property of Educational Housing Services (EHS).

Washington, DC participants live in The Congressional Apartments (or a similar property) located near the U.S. Supreme Court and other historic buildings in Capitol Hill. The Congressional is intern housing affiliated with Washington Internship Student Housing (WISH).

Would I be required to stay at the housing provided by the Internship Experience?
Yes, IE participants must stay at the specified housing providers. Exceptions can be made on a case-by-case basis only if your parents or guardians reside in your internship city.

Can I choose my own roommate?
IE Program participants are given a roommate questionnaire to help identify roommates. Roommate requests can be made between program participants.

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