Combining Learning and Real Life

Why Intern? Classroom instruction becomes a real-world experience.

Having an internship gives you experience in the career field you want to pursue. Not only does this give you an edge over other candidates when applying for jobs, it also prepares you for what to expect in your field and increases confidence in your work.

Having an internship benefits you in the working environment, and it also builds your professional network. There is a 1 in 16 chance of securing a job by connecting with people, so networking is critical. Internships provide a great environment to meet professionals in the career field you want to pursue, as well as other interns who have similar interests.

Internships can provide students with the soft skills needed in the workplace and in leadership positions. In a LinkedIn Skills Report (2018), 57% of people rated soft skills as being more important than technical skills. Skills, such as communication, leadership, problem-solving, and teamwork can all be learned through an internship and utilized beyond that experience.

Depending on your major, you may read about how organizations thrive and function in textbooks, hear from guest speakers who talk about organizational structures, or dive into case studies about workplace culture, but nothing compares to living the actual experience. An internship helps you learn all about workplace culture, employee relations, and leadership structure, which should help you onboard in your first professional job with more ease than if you haven’t had professional experience.

Most organizations and jobs that you apply to following graduation want employees to have some sort of professional experience, even for entry-level jobs. In the event that you are a finalist for a position, lack of internship experience may make you less competitive. Having at least one internship on your resume before leaving college could give you a leg up on the competition.

Not only will you be helping out the organization you intern with, but they’ll help you out too. While professors and teachers will prepare you for the theoretical side of your field and hands-on projects, internships provide opportunities for receiving feedback from someone who works in your desired field on a daily basis. Act like a sponge and soak up all the information you can during your internship – it will benefit you in the long run.

While everyone probably wants to walk away from an internship feeling excited and passionate about the experience, there’s a silver-lining to be found if you didn’t enjoy the job: you’ll know what you don’t like. According to an article from, “figuring out what type of job you don’t want while you’re interning can help prevent you from accepting an ill-fitting job when you graduate.”

Why join the UM Internship Experience? You’ll be independent but not alone.

The UM Internship Experience program (UMIE) is defined by coaching and individualized support during the entire internship search, preparation, and summer experience. This support comes in many forms, including:

  • Connections to UM alumni
  • Internship search assistance
  • Coordination with academic advisors and UM faculty
  • Scholarships and travel/technology grants for eligible participants

Internship Prep Courses
Participants are enrolled in three 1-credit-hour courses beginning in the Fall II term prior to the summer internship placement. These courses include:
Internship Exploration
(Fall II, October – December)
The first class in the IE academic coursework series helps you to explore the process of applying for internships, including:

  • Develop effective internship search strategies
  • Enhanced resume and cover letter writing
  • Learn professional communication
  • Improve interviewing techniques
  • Budget for internship expenses

Internship Preparation
(Spring I, January – March)
The second class in the IE academic coursework series covers topics related to transitioning from being an Ole Miss student to being a successful intern. You will:

  • Practice networking through an etiquette dinner and mocktail receptions
  • Interact with Ole Miss alumni and past IE participants
  • Craft an effective LinkedIn profile
  • Gain leadership skills
  • Develop internship objectives
  • Explore intercultural topics

Alumni Support
Ole Miss alumni are important contributors to the UMIE — providing networking opportunities, professional tours, and even internships. UMIE staff regularly communicate with Ole Miss alumni to connect students with professionals in fields related to their internship interests.

Laura Antonow presents the award to the family of Oscar Pope
29 Sep

Pope Awarded 2021 UM Outstanding IE Partner

UM alumnus honored for his mentorship of Ole Miss students

Sara White
17 Aug

UM Students Boost Resumes Through Virtual Internships

Revamped internship, job prep course offered for students in second fall session