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Internships are wonderful for a variety of reasons. Not only do interns gain valuable workplace experience, but also they are able to explore an industry, get exposed to an organization's culture, and build a professional network.
There are two primary sources of internship opportunities: opportunities that are published on websites and in print resources and those that are never made public. For that reason, it is important that you perform a balanced search that involves tapping your network and using online resources.
As part of your search, we encourage you to participate in the Center for Student Professional Development's on-campus recruiting activities. These events offer four types of opportunities for you to connect with employers offering internships and full-time positions in a variety of career fields: on-campus interviews, Industry Career Days, employer information sessions, and employer internship and job postings (via DoreWays). To participate in campus recruiting, you will need to upload a resume to your DoreWays account before you can apply to any positions.
The Center's Internship Database is a list of internships that Vanderbilt students have held in the past. These opportunities were reported primarily by the Summer Experience Survey sent to returning Vanderbilt students in the fall semester. Keep in mind that just because an employer is listed in this database does not necessarily mean they will take other Vanderbilt interns. However, knowing they have had interns in the past may give you a starting point as you build a relationship with that employer. Once you've determined some companies of interest you can use VUconnect to search for Vanderbilt alumni you can contact for information about the company.
The Center participates in a consortium with several peer institutions called the University Career Action Network (UCAN). For more information about the consortium, including a list of participating colleges and universities, please visit the UCAN website. UCAN internship postings can be accessed through DoreWays. Simply select "UCAN" from the drop-down menu under the "jobs/internships" tab.
Opportunities are also posted on company websites, aggregator sites (such as Indeed and Simply Hired), industry specific-sites (e.g. engineering, healthcare, nonprofit), college-specific sites (like College Grad), and niche websites that have a specific mission (INROADS).
Because a majority of opportunities are never posted, we encourage you to dedicate a significant portion of your search time to networking and informational interviewing activities. A standard guideline is to spend 80 percent of your time networking and 20 percent of your time online.
Vanderbilt Internship Programs
There are many other opportunities to intern through Vanderbilt departments, including:
- Vanderbilt Internship Experience In Washington (VIEW)
- Vanderbilt Summer Undergraduate Research Program
- Vanderbilt Undergraduate Clinical Research Program
The career coach in your cluster of interest can help you identify additional resources on and off the Vanderbilt campus.
The Center has also established two internship programs in partnership with Vanderbilt alumni:
Interested in hearing Vanderbilt students share their internship experiences? Watch this:
Many unpaid internship programs require you to apply for and receive academic credit in a one-credit course. To begin the process of applying and receiving academic credit, contact the Associate Dean of your college/school.
Summer Internship Subsidy
Vanderbilt provides a subsidy to waive the cost associated with the academic credit. Please note: the Summer Internship Subsidy is intended for unpaid internships only. Here are the highlights of the subsidy program:
- Open to any VU undergraduate who is required by an employer or by immigration regulations to earn academic credit
- Designed to cover/waive the majority of tuition and fees for the academic component of a one-credit summer internship
- Registration may be through any of the four undergraduate schools
- Student fee to enroll in one-credit summer course required for an internship is currently $200 plus applicable summer fees
To be eligible for the subsidy, a student is required to complete a three-step application process that includes:
1) A letter (or email) from the employer or Vanderbilt International & Student Scholarship Services stipulating the need for academic credit.
2) A completed and signed copy of the internship approval for INDS 280D, MUSO 280C, PINX 2985, or other approved internship course. Consult your school's Associate Dean to determine appropriate academic course placement.
3) Completion of a Center internship orientation module focusing on workplace law and workplace etiquette.
For specific details on the subsidy application process, see this student checklist for receiving summer internship subsidy .
Students who choose not to apply for a summer internship subsidy may continue to use the regular tuition process to enroll in designated summer internship courses. Details are available through the Dean's office of your college/school.