“Okay, so I applied to college, got accepted, and I’m here…Now what?”
Even though as a freshman it might feel like we just finished one application process to help move us along the path to our future, we are far from finished. Now that we are in college it is time to take advantage of all the opportunities offered to us here so we can make the transition from backpack to briefcase. Just as we had to research our college options and what each one offered, I realized it was time to start researching what Villanova offered for these next steps, so I attended the Internship/CoOp Basics Session.
The Internship/CoOp Basics Sessions offered throughout the year are presentations geared toward first year students. The session informs attendees of the various kinds of internships and CoOps available as well as instructions and tips on how to find and attain such opportunities for their freshman and sophomore years. Villanova grants students access to internships and CoOps due to their emphasis on experiential education, learning through hands-on work in the real world to supplement and apply lessons learned in the classroom.
The most common opportunity for first year students are leadership programs also known as externships. These are short programs, ranging from a few days to a couple of weeks, where students go to a company to learn about the firm, what the positions entail, and even get some hands-on experience. Usually underclassmen participate in leadership programs; it is very common to participate in one during the summer between freshman and sophomore year. A short externship is a great way to dip your feet in the water of a certain area of the business world without the commitment of diving into an internship that you might not like.
Internships are excellent opportunities for students to get real experiential education while building a connection to the firm at which they work and gauging if they found a fit for their career. An internship can take place during a semester or over the summer and are more long-term than a leadership program/externship. At Villanova, students can earn three academic credits for an internship if they work over 150 hours and it lasts between eight and twelve weeks. A great example of a common internship is the Spring Accounting Internship Program that junior accounting majors can partake in. Students can work full-time for a firm during the “busy season” to gain true experience and even earn six academic credits while they do it. Additionally, there are opportunities for international internships for students who travel abroad.
For students looking to intern full-time for half of a year, a CoOp is the perfect fit. These are specific programs for students to focus solely on the hands-on experience of working at a real firm. Villanova has made it possible for students to take time off of their academic classes, usually during junior year, in order to participate in a CoOp while still graduating on time.
Plan of Action
Hopefully some of these options sparked in interest to you, but you might not know what the next step is. Fortunately, Villanova has one place to go for you to find many opportunities with Internships and CoOps: GoNova Jobs. This website has the listing of companies with available positions for college students, you just need to find one that fits you and take the necessary steps to apply. So what are you waiting for? Now is the time to take action and get a head start on your future! Go to GoNova Jobs or find more information on the Clay Center’s Website through the link below.