What is an Internship?
An internship is a supervised pre-professional learning experience, in which students
apply their skills and knowledge in a professional setting. By offering their time,
talent, and enthusiasm, Dutchess Community College interns will contribute to an organization's
mission and goals, while gaining valuable skills for the future, and seeing if a career
is right for them. DCC credit may be awarded for the learning occurring at the site
and reflected in written assignments.
An internship is not:
- A part-time or full-time job that does not specify career related learning strategies
- Unsupervised volunteer experience.
- Routine, repetitive clerical tasks.
- A source of "easy" credit.
Goals of an internship are to:
- Provide students with a realistic view of the workplace culture and expectations.
- Integrate academic preparation with professional challenges.
- Build confidence and success through internship experiences.
- Encourage contact between DCC students and professionals in their field of interest.
- Help students build professional networks.
How does an internship work?
An internship can be a variety of positions, as long as it contributes to the professional
development of the student. In order to do this, certain considerations should be
taken into account.
- First, a position must be set up to fulfill a set of goals for professional development.
These can be more general (e.g. to gain a sense of the work environment within a private
law firm) or more specific (e.g. to learn a particular field-related skill). All intern
projects should further these goals, helping the student to gain experience and develop
skills. In order to make this possible, it is imperative that all internship positions
be assigned a supervisor. This supervisor works directly with the intern, providing
training, guidance and feedback over the course of the position.
- Second, an internship must include a system for feedback and communication. Regular
feedback sessions are formally arranged to facilitate consistent supervision, guidance,
and constructive criticism on a weekly basis. A formal midterm conference date may
be set and included in this contract. Also, a final written evaluation from the supervisor
of the student’s performance is highly encouraged. If the student’s performance was
good, we urge interns to ask for letters of recommendation.