Internships are a great opportunity to gain professional experience and explore possible career paths. Internship experience can also give you a competitive advantage when applying for jobs after graduation. For these reasons, we encourage PWTC students to consider pursuing an internship. That said, internships are not a program requirement, and you should not worry if an internship is not a realistic option for you.
The summer between junior and senior year has been a popular time to develop workplace experience. Some employers like interns who are further along in their coursework. However, there's no limit to how early you can begin applying, or how many internships you can do. Some private, elite schools encourage their students to do three or more internships during their college years.
In general, we encourage students to prioritize paid internships, particularly internships in technical writing, information technology, and the like. However, for some situations it may make sense to consider an unpaid internship (e.g., on-campus internships completed for course credit, internships with non-profits, and so on).
You can earn course credit for completing some internships. Be aware that if you are planning to do your internship in the summer, you will need to be registered and pay for those credits. For this reason, many students prefer to pursue paid internships in the summer and try to schedule unpaid internships for during the school year.
Taylor Wise, PWTC student and English major, at her summer internship with athenahealth, enjoying the canine-friendly office culture.
Photo credit: Ryan Young, PWTC alum and athenahealth technical writer