Importance of Internships

Internships create impact.

Gaining experience as an intern can shape your career goals and help build your résumé. Learn more from the frequently asked questions below.

An internship is one of the most common and effective ways of gaining experience in a career, and it’s an opportunity to make you a more attractive job candidate. The majority of full-time and part-time internships last between three and four months, generally during a semester or summer, and incorporate a learning component into the work. Most internships are paid and give you practical experience applying classroom theory to "real world" work environments.

As a Kelley student on the IUPUI campus, you have the advantage of attending school in downtown Indianapolis. With so many organizations a short drive away and flexible class schedules, internship opportunities are available year-round. It's never too soon to start an internship; you can do one as soon as your freshman year.

Internships are not required, but they are strongly recommended. Many students who participate in internships complete one or two as an undergraduate, mostly as juniors and seniors.

If school, work and family commitments make it difficult to engage in an internship, several other opportunities fall under the category of experiential learning and are excellent tools to assist in exploring careers, developing transferable skills and building your résumé.

  • Business-oriented class projects (Example: I-Core)
  • Student and professional organizations (Example: Delta Sigma Pi)
  • Work experience
  • Volunteer and service work
  • Study abroad

Finding an internship is very similar to a full-time job search. It requires a significant investment of time and effort, and you should begin preparing at least a semester in advance. Start by attending the next recruiting event, networking with your friends and colleagues and researching companies and careers of interest.

Set up a KelleyCareers powered by Handshake account and establish a Job Search Agent within the system. Before you start searching for an internship or a job, we encourage you to talk with our staff about what you want to do. Our one-on-one career coaching can help you focus and streamline your search. In addition, we can help you evaluate whether earning credit is better than earning a paycheck, or if an unpaid internship is preferable to a part-time job.

Don’t wait to do an internship until the first or second semester of your senior year. Start early. Start in your freshman year. An internship is not only a necessity, it's becoming essential to have multiple internships.

Nicole Bieker, VP of Operations, Milliner & Associates

Internship Perspectives from the Student and the Employer

Students share how an internship gave their careers momentum.

Employers share why it's so important for a job candidate to complete an internship.