Nothing becomes real until it is experienced.
It’s no secret that internships are the most effective way for students to gain work experience before graduation. In fact, studies show that 7 out of 10 internships turn into full-time jobs. Most importantly, internships are a great way for you to explore your interests, develop professional skills, and grow your professional network. Find your passion.
WOU COMMUNITY INTERNSHIP Program
The WOU Community Internship Program (WOU CiP) provides access to academically and career relevant paid on-campus internship opportunities for Western students.
Reduce Internship Inequity
- Paid Internships: Financial barriers often prevent low-income students from accessing high-quality internships, many of which are unpaid.*
- On-Campus: Transportation access serves as a barrier for many WOU students who either do not own a vehicle or the cost of transportation is prohibitive to seek internships within our surrounding communities.
- Access to Professional Networks: Not everyone has a family or friend network that easily refers them to professionals in their industries of interest. Connecting with faculty and staff creates opportunities for students to connect with professionals.
*Mayo, L., & Shethji, P. (2010). Reducing Internship Inequity. Diversity & Democracy, 13(3).
Eligibility to Participate
- Enrollment: Students must be enrolled at Western Oregon University
- Academic Standing: Students must be in good academic standing
- Judicial Standing: Students must be in good judicial standing
- Prior WOU CiP Interns: Former WOU CiP interns are ineligible from applying to their previous position; however, they may apply for a new role that would expose them to new professional development opportunities and skill-building.
What are the Benefits of Participating in WOU CiP?
The WOU Community Internship Program (WOU CiP) connects you to paid internships on-campus. By developing partnerships across campus, WOU students are able to gain invaluable internship experiences that facilitate professional development and integration of classroom knowledge. WOU CiP is managed in collaboration with departments and Service Learning and Career Development professional staff. This means you are provided with ongoing support and guidance in your internship from start to finish, and any time thereafter. Support includes, but is not limited to:
- Resume and cover letter writing
- Interview preparation and practice
- Career coaching to facilitate:
- personal and professional goal development
- integration of skills and knowledge gained to translate experience into future job readiness
What are the Benefits of Doing an Internship?
Internships allow you to gain the necessary professional skills that allow you to integrate academic knowledge with real world application. Not only do internships provide you with experience to add to your resume, they also allow you to gain a competitive edge in the job market. Employers typically favor recent college graduates that posses internship experience over those that do not. It is common for employers to hire high performing and hard-working interns because they are more familiar with your work.
Additionally, internships allow you to practice and develop skills sets that are aligned with your academic and professional goals. This gives you a chance to “try” a career path to better understand which career is right for you.
Internship vs. Part-Time Job: What’s the Difference?
What makes internships unique is the focus on student learning. This is an opportunity for you to apply skills learned in the classroom or elsewhere, that tie to your academic, career or personal goals. While you might perform some roles that are not for your learning, the goal is for you to explore and practice your professional identity under supervision and with mentoring.
An example could be a student wanting to apply their writing skills and learn professionalism by writing press releases for a department. The expectation is that the student need some coaching and guidance and not be expected to accomplish the task perfectly on the first try. With gentle feedback, however, the final output will be professional, well written and offer a fresh, student oriented perspective.
Eight Principles of Good Practice for All Experiential Learning Activities, National Society for Experiential Education
Intention; Preparedness and Planning; Authenticity; Reflection; Orientation and Training; Monitoring and Continuous Improvement; Assessment and Evaluation; and Acknowledgment
15 Best Practices for Internship Programs, National Association of Colleges and Employers
How Ryerson and Western Oregon enriched on-campus student work, Education Advisory Board, September 11, 2017
As post-graduate employment concerns have multiplied for undergraduates so too have internships, co-ops, and job-shadowing opportunities. But institutions with internship requirements for graduation, institutions in rural areas and those in urban ones clogged with a myriad of other universities all face their own challenges to produce sufficient work experiences for their students. To address these shortages two innovative institutions have turned their focus inwards.
Integrating Academic and Career Development: strategies to scale experiential learning and reflection across the curriculum, Education Advisory Board, August 2016
University as Employer: Western Oregon University Community Internship Program (pg 40 – 41)
Typical Internship Components Also Exist on Campus: position within a functioning business; Reporting line to a professional with expertise in the field; Assignments target field-specific learning outcomes; Skills developed are transferable to other organizations or companies; and access to resources and facilities necessary for learning outcomes.
Clark, A. & Plummer, K. First-Generation Students: Making Internships Possible, National Association of Colleges and Employers Annual Conference, June 2016.