What Is an Internship?
- An internship is pre-professional work experience that provides students, recent graduates, and career changers with opportunities to explore various career fields and interests. Internships can be part-time (most common) or full-time, paid or unpaid, and are offered by a wide variety of businesses and organizations. The duration or length of an internship can run anywhere between an intersession (5-6 weeks) and a full-quarter/semester (10-16 weeks) and/or summer (10-12 weeks) depending on the company. A typical intern usually works between 10-20 hours per week, though this varies depending on the company.
What Are the Benefits of Doing an Internship?
- An Internship can help you narrow your career choices and focus your career goals. You can learn more about where you might like to work, or gain insight about a specific industry or career field.
- Internships can make you more competitive and marketable for full-time jobs and graduate and/or professional schools.
- Internships help you to apply what you learn in the classroom to the workplace.
- An Internship is a great way to build your professional network and “get your foot in the door” of a particular industry or company. You will meet people in the industry and gain professional contacts.
- An Internship provides you with the opportunity to gain valuable transferable skills.
- According to the National Association of College Employers (NACE), 70% of employers say that they hire their interns for full-time positions after graduation before looking elsewhere.
When Should I Begin to Look for Internships?
- Most Internship providers prefer students who have had at least a year of college (30 transferable units completed) before beginning an internship program. Internships in the fields of Accounting and Finance usually want students who are Juniors or will start their Junior year in college when the internship begins.
Where Do I Start?
- First explore internship opportunities that match your skills and career interests. If you don’t know what you are interested in, schedule a half an hour appointment with a Career Counselor in the GCC Career Center (SR 2nd floor) to help you identify things you have liked or disliked doing in the past, what you do well, what is important to you, and your career goals. Also search for internships that complement your academic major. Then determine 2-3 fields that match your interests, skills, and values.
- Make sure to attend a Resume Workshop offered through the GCC Career Center and make an appointment to have your Resume reviewed by a Career Counselor in the GCC Career Center. Most internships require a Resume and Cover letter with your application.
Where Do I Find an Internship?
- Internship listings are posted in the glass bulletin board located on the second floor of the San Rafael Building (near the restrooms). They are also listed in the black Internship Binder located in the Job Placement Center, San Rafael Building, 2nd floor. GCC faculty members also make great resources for finding internships. Internships in areas such as psychology, sociology, political science, and hotel restaurant management are best found through speaking to these faculty members.
There is also a number of good websites offering internship postings:
- Besides the websites mentioned above, it is also a good idea to research specific company websites and type in the word Internships in their search box. Many companies do not list/post their internships on large internship/job websites. They expect that interested students would know to search their company websites for internship opportunities.
How Do I Get College Credit for an Unpaid Internship?
- Labor laws state that students who are serving an unpaid internship must be receiving college credit. When funding and space are available, students may enroll in GCC’s Cooperative Education 102: Work Experience class. This class is usually offered during fall and spring semesters. In order to qualify for CO ED 102 students are required to register in 7 units at GCC, including Cooperative Education. Cooperative Education is offered as 1, 2, 3, or 4 unit classes. For more information, please contact the GCC Cooperative Education Office at (818) 240-1000, ext. 5744. It is located in the Administration Building 145B.
- Internship credit courses may also be obtained through UCLA Extension. For registration and general Information, call (310) 825-9971 or (818) 784-7006. Their office hours are from 9 am to 5 pm Monday through Friday. To visit them online, please go to: https://www.uclaextension.edu/r/search.aspx?c=internships
- For information on internships in the specific areas of Business and Hotel Restaurant Management, please contact the GCC Business or Hospitality and Tourism Management departments directly.
*NOTE: Internship 050 is now scheduled by each Academic Division as and when is deemed necessary. Currently, internship course sections offered by the Business Division are reserved for GCC students enrolled in Business classes.