Center for Career and Professional Development

Internships & Other High Impact Experiences

High-impact experiences at Southwestern are intentionally woven into the campus culture, building on our Paideia curriculum by offering real-world opportunities for students to integrate, apply, and synthesize their learning through a variety of experiences and disciplines. 

Through high-impact experiences, students develop 21st century career-readiness skills, such as the ability to think effectively, tackle complex and unscripted problems, view problems from multiple viewpoints, adapt, collaborate, and innovate. These skills prepare SU graduates not only for personal success, but also to contribute to their communities and the world. 

High-impact experiences connected to the Paideia curriculum include:

  • Study Abroad/Away (in approved programs)
  • Internships (for credit and not-for-credit)
  • Community-Engaged Learning Opportunities
  • Faculty-Mentored Research

Of these types of high-impact experiences, the Center for Career & Professional Development facilitates internships.

Nationwide, most students graduate with at least one internship experience, and more students are graduating with multiple internship experiences. At least 60 percent of SU graduates each year report internship experience, and research shows that internship experience is the single biggest factor related to gaining employment after graduation. Internships provide a great way for you to gain experience and “test the fit” of the many career options. You can narrow down your areas of interests and develop the relevant skills that employers in your field seek. 

Internships can take the form of academic (for credit) or experience-only internships. Often completed in the junior or senior year, an academic internship is typically more rigorous and provides academic credit toward your degree program. Experience-only internships can be completed at any time, provided you meet the requirements set forth by the organization offering the internship.

You can even pitch your skills and the offer to work for an organization that hasn’t offered internships in the past - this usually works most effectively if you offer to work for no remuneration. Internship programs are a win-win opportunity for students and employers. Employers can test, groom, and recruit full-time candidates, and more and more students are taking advantage of internships to maintain a competitive edge in the job market.