Completing undergraduate internships gives students marketable experiences and skills and provides them with opportunities to explore and network as they determine which career paths to pursue.
With support and mentorship from DavisConnects, Colby students learn to identify, create, and secure internships during Jan Plan, summers, or semesters. DavisConnects helps students to articulate their experiences, interests, and skills as applicants and to assess which internships offer real-world learning experiences that are appropriate and useful for their professional development.
By speaking with advisors, Colby students also learn more about industries’ unique recruiting timelines, which empowers them to develop effective internship search strategies.
Colby students find internships by networking with contacts, attending Industry Expos and Career Discovery Days, and accessing recruiting platforms where alumni, companies, and organizations post opportunities. Our Employer Partnerships team sources internships from alumni and parents, and students also learn individually how to prospect organizations and companies with whom they wish to intern. By working with advisors, students develop the foundational networking skills to reach out and connect to alumni, who can serve as a rich source of mentorship and opportunities throughout their careers. Below are some of the services and platforms Colby students use in their internship search.
Creating and refining a professional identity will make students’ internships and job searches more powerful and efficient. Students begin defining their professional identity long before they apply for an internship, and DavisConnects is there to help them every step of the way—whether students are working to identify their personal values and priorities, build their first college resumes, articulate their competitive advantage, or navigate their first salary negotiations.
A resume outlines your skills and values for employers and connects your education, experiences, and skills to the types of internship roles to which you aspire. As you outline each of your experiences, employ action verbs to highlight activities relevant to the internship you want, use qualitative and quantitative details to contextualize the scope and impact of those activities, and center what you created or achieved in these roles. College resumes should be no longer than one page.
Cover letters provide context for your experiences and complement your resume by highlighting strengths you would bring to a role. A strong cover letter, no matter its format, will be able to answer three questions: Who are you and what position do you want? What value could you add to this role or organization? What makes you most interested in this particular opportunity? Cover letters must do this concisely, in 300-400 words, while also concretely tying in a candidate’s past experience and skills to a particular internship’s needs and requirements.
Professional references are individuals who will offer positive statements and concrete evidence about your skills and competencies as well as your scholarly and work-related experiences. You may need two or three individuals—typically professors, advisors, or work supervisors—who agree to serve as references. Students should ask individuals to be references five or six weeks in advance of any submission deadlines, share a resume and internship details with recommenders, and learn what email addresses or phone numbers their references prefer they list on internship forms.
Some internship selection processes will include an interview. While various industries have unique interview expectations and formats, most interviews seek to assess similar themes, such as your a) motivation and enthusiasm for the role, b) capacity to contribute and perform in the role, c) readiness to demonstrate professionalism, and d) commitment to problem solving, teamwork, and collaboration. Rather than memorizing answers, practice using short stories from your own life and work experience to illustrate the relevant qualities, habits, and values you hope to bring to the position for which you are interviewing. Work with your DavisConnects advisor to brainstorm a list of questions you should prepare for in upcoming interviews.
In order to fulfill the Jan Plan requirement with an internship, a student must find or create a 100-hour, off-campus work experience that allows them to gain meaningful insights into a career path or industry. Students must elect to complete a Jan Plan internship for notation or academic credit to fulfill the Jan Plan requirement.
Regardless of students’ personal and financial networks, DavisConnects links students to endowed funding opportunities that ensure all Colby students have access to exceptional internship experiences in any field.
Colby student workers, research assistants, and students receiving credit for local internships can qualify for campus housing in summers and during Jan Plan.
Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is a temporary employment authorization for students maintaining valid F-1 visa status. CPT allows eligible students to take part in paid or unpaid off-campus training, such as internships. The internship must be an integral part of the student’s curriculum and directly related to the student’s declared major.