Frequently Asked Questions
What is an internship?
An internship is a work-related learning opportunity to gain hands-on practice in an area of professional interest. Internships are widely available in both the for-profit and nonprofit sectors. They may be paid or unpaid; result in transcript recognition or not; and may be pursued spring, summer, or fall, depending on the student's goals. Most internships are temporary assignments, typically lasting between three months and one year.What is the value of doing an internship?
Internships help students acquire practical experience in a particular field. Merging academic and personal interests in a professional setting helps students build specific skills, cultivate professional networks, and develop mentoring relationships. Internships enhance student applications for employment after graduation. Many employers consider internship experience vital when filling a position, or will seek previous interns as full-time employees.How many internships should I do?
Students should seek quality over quantity. Most career counselors recommend three internships or job experiences during college. Students should consider internships appropriate to their goals, rather than seeking just to improve their resumes. Exploring a variety of fields and work settings can help students clarify their career paths. For example, a student interested in law could find valuable internships at both a for-profit firm and a nonprofit legal center.How do I receive transcript recognition?
Students may request formal, noncredit-bearing transcript recognition of internships that are supervised, unpaid, and require at least 40 hours of work. Transcript recognition is not available for work performed through Bard College or conducted on any of Bard’s campuses. After a faculty sponsor has approved a proposed internship, the student next submits it to the dean of studies
for approval.When should I begin looking for an internship?
Students should allow time to identify and apply for rewarding internships. Preliminary steps include working with a career counselor to be guided through a self-assessment, review resources, and do research. A career counselor will help the student prepare a targeted resume and effective cover letter geared toward a particular field of interest. Internships, especially paid internships, involve a careful search and application process. The total amount of time required varies for each individual. Bard students have access to a national database for internships and job opportunities
Competitive or well-known summer internship programs may have deadlines as early as November for internships beginning the following year.What resources are available for locating internships?
The Career Development website
provides links to the best websites listing internships. Bard strongly advises students to meet with a counselor for orientation to Career Services’ many resources, and to discuss which will best meet the student's needs.
Faculty, parents, and alumni/ae can be excellent resources when seeking an internship. Professional networking is one of the most effective ways of finding internships. Students can develop their own opportunities by contacting potential employers with internship proposals. Work with a career counselor to learn how to identify and approach organizations. Who can I speak with in Career Development regarding my internship interests?
Meet with Director April Kinser or Associate Director Elisabeth Giglio for individualized consultation. You can find the Career Development Office
on the second floor of the Campus Center, in room 201. Please drop by the office, call 845-758-7539, or e-mail the CDO
to schedule an appointment.What if I don’t have time for an internship right now?
Internships provide the best in-depth, hands-on exposure to a field of interest, and they require a significant time commitment. If you are unable to make that commitment now, consider informational interviews and job shadowing as alternatives.
Utilizing winter and spring break periods, students can conduct informational interviews with employers, especially those in the Bard network. Interviewing people in the field allows a glimpse of what it would be like working in the profession, or even whether the field is a good fit for the student. Always a good networking opportunity, informational interviews may also lead to future internships.
Job shadowing is another way to gain short-term exposure to a field and gather valuable information. Whether lasting one day or several weeks, shadowing allows the student to observe “a day in the life” of a person in a field of interest. Contact the CDO if you are interested in job shadowing.
For more information visit the Career Development
and Dean of Studies