Find Internships & Professional Experiences

Pursuing an Internship (credit-bearing) or professional experience (non-credit bearing) is an exciting time in your education. Otterbein encourages its students to complete at least one internship; however, it is important to recognize that completing two or three internships will enable you to be more competitive and make you a more desirable candidate for future employers and/or graduate programs.

Your college internship may be part-time or full-time, paid or unpaid, credit bearing or non-credit bearing, completed during the school year or the summer and may be located on campus, in the Columbus area or in other regional, national or international locations. There is a great deal of flexibility when it comes to internships; therefore we would encourage you to make an appointment with one of our staff to begin discussing your internship goals.

Internship Benefits

  • Gain an understanding of the world of work.
  • Explore career options and gain professional skills related to your major and/or future career choice.
  • Increase your motivation to achieve your academic goals.
  • Gain a competitive edge for graduate school and full-time employment applications.
  • Decide which course of study and specific classes will prepare your for jobs and careers after graduation.
  • Expand your professional network.

Getting Started

Research and decide upon the career field(s) in which you want to gain practical experience.

  • Develop or update resume. See resume and cover letter samples here.
  • Have your resume reviewed by a staff member in the CCPD. Walk-in hours (1-3 p.m. weekdays) are a great time for this. If walk-in hours do not work with your schedule, feel free to make an appointment.

Search for opportunities.

  • Network with personal and family contacts, faculty, alumni and other professionals in your field of interest.
  • Make an appointment to develop an individual internship search strategy and learn about available resources.
  • Generate a list of “target organizations” in fields of interest; contact them to inquire about potential career-related experience.
  • See Internship Resources for other options.

Apply.

  • Target your resume and cover letter to each specific organization and/or position.
  • Contact each organization within 1 to 2 weeks to confirm receipt of materials and inquire about their hiring timeline.

Prepare to interview.

  • Set up a practice interview with a staff member in the CCPD.
  • Research the organization.

Accept an offer.

  • Once you accept an offer from an internship site, follow the instructions for internship if you plan to receive academic credit or Professional Experiences if you do not want to receive academic credit.
  • Note: If you wish to receive academic credit for an internship, you need to identify a faculty sponsor the semester prior to the internship and work with him/her to complete the required paperwork.

Internship Criteria

When you pursue an internship through the Otterbein Internship Program, you will work closely with a faculty internship sponsor and on-site work supervisor to plan the internship experience.

The following factors characterize this type of internship:

  • You will receive academic credit for the internship; you must pay tuition for this credit based on the credit hours attempted.
  • You must be in good academic standing. Generally student interns must have a junior or senior status and a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.7 is preferred, but the final decision about participation rests with the individual academic department.
  • Together you, a faculty sponsor and the on-site work supervisor will develop a learning contract that outlines mutual intentions and educational and work expectations for the internship.
  • You will receive a grade for your internship.
  • Your performance is officially evaluated at various stages during the experience.
  • Some additional academic work may be assigned by the faculty advisor to help tie academic learning with “real world” work experience.

Receiving Academic Credit

A maximum of 16 semester hours of internship credit may be counted toward degree requirements at Otterbein.

For each credit hour you earn, 42 hours of work or work-related activities must be completed over the semester. Therefore, a full-time intern registers for 16 semester hours and is expected to spend 45-48 hours per week on activities specified in the learning contract. These hours include both “on-the-job” tasks and “off-the-job” tasks such as reading, journaling, research, etc.

  • 3 hours per week x 14 weeks = 1 semester credit
  • 15 hours per week x 14 weeks = 5 semester credits
  • 30 hours per week x 14 weeks = 10 semester credits
  • 48 hours per week x 14 weeks or 45 hours per week x 15 weeks = 16 credits

Roles and Responsibilities

The role of the CCPD
The Center for Career and Professional Development serves as a central point and clearinghouse for internship postings, policies and procedures. Our staff is eager to discuss your internship goals and help you develop an individualized internship search strategy and prepare for the interview process. Employers list internship opportunities for many majors through our online job and internship database, Cardinal Careers.

The role of your faculty sponsor
Whether you use the CCPD or other resources, you will need to confirm your eligibility to earn credit and receive credit through your academic (major/minor) department. Students must identify a faculty sponsor (often your academic advisor) to oversee the academic portion of the internship. Students should seek out a faculty sponsor the semester before they plan to complete the internship.

The role of the intern
Once your internship has been secured and you have identified a faculty sponsor, you must submit the Undergraduate Registration Permission form for Internship 4900 credit (with the appropriate signatures) to the Office of the Registrar. This generally must be submitted by the 2nd Monday of the term; submission date should be confirmed with the Registrar. Students must then work with their internship supervisor and faculty sponsor to develop the Learning Objectives. At the completion of the internship, interns must submit an evaluation of their supervisor and one for the overall internship experience. Students must also ensure that their supervisor has completed and submitted the final supervisor evaluation.

Please note: If you feel victimized by a work-related incident, contact your faculty sponsor or Center for Career and Professional Development immediately.

The role of the supervisor
The site supervisor should assist with the development of the Learning Contract and take an active role in mentoring and guiding the student to help meet learning goals. The supervisor is also expected to orient the student to the organization and be available for meetings or conversations with both the intern and the faculty sponsor. The site supervisor should also provide regular constructive feedback, complete the evaluation form and return it to the faculty sponsor in a timely fashion.

The intern, faculty sponsor and intern supervisor should all be familiar with the policies, procedures and guidelines outlined in the Otterbein Internship Manual. If you have questions or concerns, please email career@otterbein.edu or call 614-823-1456.

Professional Experiences (non credit-bearing)

You may choose to pursue internship experiences on your own rather than under the auspices of the college program. No credit is earned for these experiences and the University plays no role in the supervision or evaluation of these internships.

Most majors do not require that students complete an internship for credit as part of their curriculum; therefore many students choose not to receive academic credit.

Roles and Responsibilities

The role of the CCPD
The Center for Career and Professional Development serves as a central point and clearinghouse for internship postings, policies and procedures. Our staff is eager to discuss your internship goals and help you develop an individualized internship search strategy and prepare for the interview process. Employers list internship opportunities for many majors through our online job and internship database, Cardinal Careers.

The role of the student
Once your internship has been secured, you must complete the Professional Experience Reporting Form to document your experience with the CCPD. While it is not required, you are highly encouraged to utilize our internship forms to help maximize your internship experience. Work with your internship supervisor to develop learning outcomes at the start of your internship; you may consider using our Learning Contract. To help ensure a quality learning experience both you and your supervisor should also complete a Final Evaluation of your experience. You will also be asked by the CCPD to complete a brief survey at the end of your internship.

The forms may be downloaded here.

If you feel victimized by a work-related incident, contact The Center for Career and Professional Development immediately.

The role of the supervisor
The site supervisor should assist with the development of the Learning Contract and take an active role in mentoring and guiding the student to help meet learning goals. The supervisor is also expected to orient the student to the organization and be available for meetings or conversations with both the intern and the faculty sponsor. The site supervisor should also provide regular constructive feedback, complete the evaluation form and return it to the faculty sponsor in a timely fashion.

Interns and supervisors should contact The Center for Career & Professional Development if questions or concerns arise at any point during the internship, career@otterbein.edu or 614-823-1456.

Internship Manual and Forms

Our internship manual has been written for students, faculty and employers who wish to participate in Otterbein’s internship program. This manual serves as a guide to policies, expectations and responsibilities for those participating in the internship program.

Internship Resources

Internships can be found in a variety of ways. Students who have the greatest success in their internship search are those that employ a multi-faceted approach, which includes networking, utilizing online resources and targeting specific organizations. See job search tips. Be mindful that many internships are never advertised or posted, while others are advertised nationally online or in printed directories. Search broadly and cast your net wide.

Additional internship resources

Past internship sites