Internships: More Than a Summer Job

November 17, 2021

a woman stands with equipment in a boatyardOften, when we think of internships, we think of the short-term benefits, like a summer job. But the true benefits of an internship can extend much further.

Internships can help to solidify a career decision—helping students to gain a better understanding of what they like and do not like. They allow students to network with professionals in their field, gain practical experience that aligns with their career goals, and even provide additional “soft” skills that may be necessary to thrive in a job. 

When the time comes to seek permanent employment, this practical experience can help to increase a student’s marketability with employers. Additionally, internships often set candidates apart from their peers by demonstrating their strong interest in a specific career. For the employer, a successful intern may turn into a successful new employee and their internship experience may make on-the-job training easier. 

Internships may be paid or unpaid and last one summer, semester, or another mutually agreed-upon time between the employer and the student. They may also qualify for course credit, subject to approval from an academic school or department.

If you haven’t already, now is the time to start planning for spring and summer internship opportunities. Many internships are seasonal and require students to apply for the program months in advance—as much as six months before their start date. For example, the Center of Excellence for Regulatory Science in Agriculture, or CERSA, (co-directed by Kevin Armbrust, chair of the LSU Department of Environmental Sciences) has launched the country’s first Regulatory Science in Agriculture Internship and Mentoring Program. This program is now accepting applications through November 22. It will run from mid-May to mid-August and will be open to students at LSU.

Students in the LSU College of the Coast & Environment have received internships at major organizations like GeoCorps (TM) America, Geological Society of America, LUMCON, Louisiana Sea Grant, NOAA, NSF Research Experience for Undergraduates, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, and more. Our college offers many excellent resources for current students (and alumni!) to access during their job search. Learn more about the internships and jobs available via our Internships & Jobs page and through the Handshake program offered by the Olinde Career Center.