Career services offices across campus provide comprehensive career development programming, advising, and job and internship placement assistance. In addition to offering advising resources, career centers develop collaborative partnerships with employers to connect students to career information and career opportunities. Your student shouldn’t wait until senior year to use career services. Many students choose to participate in multiple internship and leadership opportunities throughout their college experience in order to enhance their marketability and to identify a career path that they are passionate about.
The career planning process begins with a student’s first semester at UW–Madison. This process includes course selection, career exploration, on-campus employment, internships, and developing relationships with faculty who can serve as employment and graduate school references. Each school and college offers career advising and planning services. In addition, some departments and majors have specific career advising resources as well. Students who are deciding on a major can explore career options through the Cross-College Advising Service.
Five offices across campus have teamed up to create a consortium to help connect employers and students.
- College of Letters & Science
- Wisconsin School of Business
- School of Human Ecology
- College of Agricultural and Life Sciences
- Wisconsin Alumni Association
Buckynet informs students about upcoming career-related events, career fairs, job/internship postings, and on-campus recruiting opportunities.
For some students, obtaining a job while in school is a necessity, for others it may be a way to make some extra money, and for others still it may be a way to meet students and gain professional experience. The UW Student Job Center lists part-time, limited term employment (LTE), and summer job openings in the private and public sectors, both at UW–Madison and off campus. While it is not the only resource for students to use in their part-time job search, it is an easy resource to navigate and outlines all campus jobs.
Internships allow students to make informed career choices and to develop a sense of a specific position, work environment, industry, and company culture. Students can improve existing skills and develop new ones. Through this experience, students create a track record of accomplishments, demonstrated skills, and abilities. Internships—along with volunteering, temping, part-time and limited-term employment—provide students with valuable hands-on experience. Upon graduation, students with these experiences are often more competitive when applying for full-time employment opportunities.
Encourage your student to be proactive in searching for an internship: It will pay off! Students can find internship listings through Career Services offices. Employers will often list internships alongside full-time positions. Many departments will compile lists of internships pertaining to students’ majors.
Tips for parents:
- An internship is an extension of your student’s classroom and should integrate knowledge and practical application. Defined goals, outcomes, feedback, and reflection are all features of this out-of-class learning experience.
- Encourage your student to explore the possibility of receiving academic credit with his or her advisor or with the career services office. In many cases, students do not know they are able to earn credit in connection to their internship. With online internship courses, the internships do not need to be in Madison or even in the U.S.
- Understand that internships vary. Some are paid and some are not, some require a student to be enrolled for academic credit while others do not. To find the best fit, students must assess their personal situations.
- Encourage your student to utilize summers; summer is great time for continued learning.
- Students sometimes participate in internships during the academic year, rather than enrolling in classes. For some majors, students can maintain their full-time status if engaged in internships for credit. Again, your student should assess his or her situation when making this decision.
- Financial aid is sometimes available for internships. Your student can find out more information through his or her department or career service office, or the Office of Student Financial Aid.
The International Internship Program can help students find internships abroad.