Internships are one of the many tools Weber State provides to help students gain the skills and experience they need to prepare for their careers post-graduation. For some degrees, they are a requirement for graduation.
The process for finding an internship is fairly simple, and the university provides many resources to guide students along that process. A first step for internship-seeking students can take is to contact their assigned internship coordinator. By going to Weber State’s internship webpage, students can find a list of the over 60 internship coordinators, their assigned department and contact information.
Most internship coordinators have had experience working directly in their respective fields, which makes them a valuable resource for connections and information.
“I spent 12 years in the corporate world, working in human resources and management, so when I started teaching, when I looked at the classroom, I saw a group of new employees,” Susan Hafen, the internship coordinator for the communications department, said. “I saw them not just as students, but as potential employees for business organizations. I looked at their work how an employer or HR manager would look at their work.”
From there, students can work with their internship coordinator to find the internship that offers the most effective preparation for their future career. Using tools and resources such as Handshake, the university’s job and internship online posting board, virtual internships and career fairs can make the search for an internship significantly easier. Once an internship is selected, the student must enroll in the corresponding course, taught by their internship coordinator, to get credit for their work.
Internships are available and recommended for all Weber State students, regardless of whether or not their major requires one.
“I think everybody, no matter what major they are studying, should do at least one internship,” Robert Ameling, the assistant director of internships in Career Services, said. “A study was done a few years ago that showed that 66% of employers want students to have had two or more internships. One-hundred percent of employers in that study wanted students to have done at least one.”
Employers sometimes work closely with the Career Services department at Weber State to hire students as interns.
“We hired a couple of Weber State graduates about 7 years ago and discovered really quickly how well-trained and highly qualified they were coming right out of school,” Tyler Young, director of interior design at NWL Architects, said.
This gave Young’s firm an interest in building a relationship with the Weber State’s interior design department and working with its students.
“Now when I need interns, I reach out directly to the associate professor and program coordinator of the interior design department at Weber State and ask about the most qualified students or most recent graduates that I might hire as interns or as full-time employees,” Young said.
Internships help students gain the necessary skills, portfolio, experience and education to enter the workforce confidently. The work experience that internships provide also allows students to obtain more visibility and a competitive edge in their field.