Internships are a great way to gain insight in an industry and get hands on experience in an occupational role you’re considering. To ensure that your internship experience--whether it is a traditional internship, or one conducted remotely or virtually--is educational and substantive, we recommend you use the following criteria established by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE):

  1. The experience must be an extension of the classroom: a learning experience that provides for applying the knowledge gained in the classroom. It must not be simply to advance the operations of the employer or be the work that a regular employee would routinely perform.
  2. The skills or knowledge learned must be transferable to other employment settings.
  3. The experience has a defined beginning and end, and a job description with desired qualifications.
  4. There are clearly defined learning objectives/goals related to the professional goals of the student's academic coursework.
  5. There is supervision by a professional with expertise and educational and/or professional background in the field of the experience.
  6. There is routine feedback by the experienced supervisor.
  7. There are resources, equipment, and facilities provided by the host employer that support learning objectives/goals.

Emory students’ complete internships at various stages of their undergraduate education. There is no "perfect time" to complete an internship. Some students may do a succession of internships, whereas others may only choose to do one the summer after their junior year.

Set goals and learning objectives for your internship experience:

  • Articulate your goals for participating in an internship. What do you hope to learn and accomplish? How will the internships in the career fields you are considering help you meet those goals?
  • Answer practical questions: Can you afford to do a full-time unpaid internship, or do you need to focus your search on part-time employment or paid internships? Do you have the flexibility to relocate for a summer internship, or are you restricted geographically?

Start building your network and improve your online presence:

  • Meet with a career counselor for a tutorial on how to network appropriately and begin to create a professional online presence.
  • Create a Linked In account and join the Emory Alumni Association group.
  • Review our networking tips for additional information.

Plan for the search:

  • Set aside time for the internship research and application process.
  • If you are looking into summer internships, note most deadlines traditionally fall in January through April. However, many large, competitive internship programs (including federal government internships that require security clearances) have deadlines starting as early as October. Many students start preparing for the search in the fall, even if they do not actually apply for positions until the spring semester.
  • Make a list of career fields and specific companies or organizations that you are interested in exploring through an internship.

Develop a target list of internship opportunities:

  • Go directly to the websites of organizations of interest to you and learn about their philosophies, missions, services and target populations to get a sense of what you can offer and what you can learn. If you feel that the organization is a good fit for you, see if any internship opportunities are advertised.
  • If an organization is not currently advertising internships, contact them directly to see if any opportunities exist that are not advertised, or if they would be willing to create a position for you. If you find an organization interested in taking you on as an intern that does not have previous experience working with interns, stop by our office for advice on handling this situation.

Prepare targeted resumes and other application materials, including cover letters:

  • Resumes are almost always required for internship applications, so review our resume guide and make sure that your resume is fully updated.
  • Connect with alumni and ask for industry specific feedback on your resume.
  • Have multiple audiences read and provide feedback on your materials.
  • Take advantage of The Career Center’s critique service and have your resumes and cover letters reviewed by an advisor.

Apply for internships:

  • Apply for many internships--particularly if you are focused on competitive programs--and spend time carefully crafting application materials that align with the internship posting.
  • Make a list of the various documents required for each internship and check off materials as you complete them.
  • Keep track of exactly when and where you have sent completed applications.
  • Follow up with organizations that have not gotten back to you within a reasonable time frame, particularly if they are your top choices and you are starting to hear back from other organizations.

Practice interviewing:

  • Attend one of the Interviewing Workshops.
  • Make an appointment with a Career Advisor for a mock interview.
  • Practice your interviewing skills using InterviewStream.
  • Connect with alumni through the Emory Alumni Association for career field specific interview advice.

Conduct interviews and follow up with employers:

  • Write each employer with whom you interview a thank-you note. E-mail is acceptable, but if you know that decisions on offers will take a while, please consider sending a neatly handwritten thank-you note.

Evaluate and accept an offer:

  • If you receive multiple offers and are unsure how to handle them, meet with a career counselor to talk them over.
  • Feel free to ask the organizations additional questions about the internship.
  • If you are offered a full-time unpaid internship but are constrained by financial issues, consider asking the internship site if working part-time is a possibility. Interning for 15-20 hours per week as opposed to 40 would allow you to obtain a part-time job to supplement your internship.

Counseling / Advising

Career Center staff is ready to meet with you one-on-one to discuss your career interests and help you brainstorm strategies for gaining the experience you seek.  To schedule an appointment, call 404-727-6211 during our business hours: Monday-Friday, 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM.

Handshake

This is The Career Center’s primary online career management system, helping students connect with employers for internship opportunities through listings and on-campus interviews. 

Career & Internship Fair

The Career Center hosts its annual Career & Internship Fair on campus each Fall and Spring semester. These are great opportunities to network with hiring representatives from organizations representing a diversity of industries in both for and non-profit sectors.

Career Center Programs

The Career Center sponsors or co-sponsors several programs for students to learn about industries, as well as network and connect with industry representatives to discuss possible experiential learning opportunities.  Examples of these events include: Networking Nights (Non-Profit, International, Green, etc.), Industry Focus Nights, and individual Employer Networking Sessions. For announcements about these events, check The Career Center’s website and/or the calendar feature within Handshake.

Career Resource Library

Career Center staff can assist you in finding relevant resources either in print or online that can be useful tools in exploring your career options and make suggestions for ways you can move from learning about careers to participating in them! Some sample publications include: Internship Success, Peterson’s Guide to Internships, and Vault Top Internships.

Emory Alumni Association

Tap into the Emory network to build your own professional network, and learn about career paths, industries and organizations.  Register for the Emory Alumni Association's Emory Connects, an online alumni directory to connect with alumni who have volunteered as "Career Contacts”. You can also join the Association's LinkedIn group.  The Association has chapters of engaged alumni and volunteer leaders worldwide, as well as distinctive interest groups for you to join when you graduate or connect with while in other locations for summer internships or study abroad.  Faculty, fellow students, Emory parents and University friends may also be potential contacts for you to begin to cultivate relationships.  Make sure you are connecting appropriately with alumni and others by consulting with your career adviser and making the most of Career Center resources.

Summary

The reality of relocating for the summer and incurring all living expenses without the prospect of added income creates a roadblock to students unable to financially support themselves for the duration of the three-month internship.

$1,500 scholarships will be awarded annually to eligible students. 

Eligibility

Any student demonstrating financial hardship that would deter the acceptance of an otherwise impactful unpaid internship in favor of a less impactful paid summer opportunity. Each applicant must be a full-time, currently matriculating student within The College of Arts and Sciences. Programs that require participants to pay to participate are ineligible.

Program Requirements

Students participating in the ECS Program will:

  1. Submit requests through Career Center according to program instructions.
  2. Journal of the experience highlighting significant accomplishments and impact on the community as a result of participation in an internship.
  3. Engage with other ECS program participants once each semester to discuss the impact of the internship and to share “experiential” learning outcomes as a result of the internship.
  4. Serve on the review committee for subsequent year applicants.

Application

To submit an application for the Emory Civic Scholars Fund visit: The Emory Scholars Fund Application

The University Career Action Network (UCAN)

The Career Center is a member of a consortium of colleges and universities from across the country, whose mission is to develop and maintain quality internships nationwide from a variety of top employers, enabling students to gain experience in their career choices. Access this resource by logging into your Handshake account, clicking the "Resources” feature in the main menu and searching for UCAN.

The University Career Action Network (UCAN) is a consortium of selective colleges and universities across the United States whose mission is to share internship listings that span the United States and beyond. The consortium maintains a dynamic database of thousands of internships, many of which may not be found in The Career Center’s Handshake system. It is searchable by area of interest, geographic location, semester, educational level, salary, or company name. This database gives you access to a full range of internship opportunities in all industries. Login to UCAN today to start looking for internships!

How do I create my account?

Creating your UCAN account it a two-stage process, to register please follow these instructions:

  1. Go to the UCAN student login page
  2. Click on the "Register" button.
  3. You must register using your Emory email address (either netID or your alias @emory.edu), complete all required fields in the registration page and click the “Submit” button. This is a two-step process, so you will not be able to search immediately after you register.

To Verify your account:

  1. After you register, you will need to verify your email address using the link provided via an automated email message. Check your inbox (or spam folder) and follow instructions within that email.
  2. After about one business day, you will receive another email that will direct you to create a password. This can be done by going to the “Profile” section and clicking on the “Password” tab. Make sure to click the “Save” button before you go to another screen.

Start searching for internships

Watch the short video tutorial in UCAN to learn how -- Log in, click the “Internships” tab at the top of the page, and click on the "Play" icon (triangle inside of circle) to the left of the "Log Out" button.

  • Keywords. The easiest way to search is by using the “Keywords” function, which will search job title, description or employer name. For the best results, conduct multiple keyword searches using different keywords and industries.
  • Use advanced options. Search by one or multiple locations.
  • Seek specific employers. The “Employers” tab allows you to search by employer and save “Favorites.”
  • Search agents. Use the “Search Agents” to pick up internships that meet your search criteria.

Uploading and sharing your documents:

You can upload multiple resumes, cover letters, transcripts and Word documents to be used when applying for available positions. Go to the “Documents” tab and select “Add New.” Select the type of document and then click “Browse” to select your document. For unofficial transcripts, go to your OPUS account and copy and paste your records into a word document, then upload onto the site.

Applying for internships posted in UCAN

Follow the instructions given by the employer in the position description. If no specific instructions are given in the description, you can submit your application materials to the employer through UCAN by following the instructions in the “Application Status” section on the right-hand side of the screen within the internship posting. You will need to have at least one document uploaded into the system to apply through UCAN.

Need help?

If you need assistance with your UCAN account, please call 404-727-6211 during our business hours (M-F, 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM) and request to schedule an appointment with Don Cornwell.

The Career Center is not an academic department and therefore cannot provide academic credit. For Emory College students who are seeking academic credit for their internships, please contact the Office of International and Summer Programs.

The academic internships initiative within the Office of International and Summer Programs (OISP) seeks to:

  • Connect students with meaningful academic internships that align with their liberal arts majors
  • Create structured credit-bearing opportunities to translate liberal arts skills into real world experiences
  • Prepare students for the global workforce through enhanced cross-cultural competencies

Pathways to pursue academic internships:

The United States Department of Labor’s Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) provides employers legal guidelines on internship compensation.  Internships with public sector organizations (i.e., non-profit organizations, government, education, etc.) are exempt from the FLSA and therefore are significantly less likely to be paid than internships in the private sector. In order for a for-profit organization to legally offer any uncompensated internship, that internship must meet the guidelines of the Fair Labor Standards Act. Specifically, the experience must be educational and of significant benefit to the intern. If you are interested in a specific unpaid internship that you feel does not meet these standards, please schedule an appointment for assistance in evaluating the experience.

There are many options when searching for temporary internship housing. Here are a few things to consider:

Search College Dorms/Apartments

Look at college/university housing. Many schools utilize their dorms and apartments as intern housing for college students interning in the general vicinity. If you're staying in Atlanta for an internship, check out Emory's Summer Intern Housing Program.

Check Rental Listings

Check rental listings on some of the national sites, such as Zillow, Trulia or Realtor

Map Your Commute

Use Google Maps to ensure your temporary housing is at a convenient location to your internship site. Consider checking the route during rush hour to get a real sense of travel time.

Contact and Hours of Operation

Address: 200 Dowman Drive B. Jones Center, 2nd Floor, Atlanta, Georgia 30322
Phone: 404-727-6211
Email: careercenter@emory.edu
Regular Office Hours: Monday - Friday | 8:30AM - 5:00PM
Walk-in Hours: Monday - Friday | 12:00PM - 4:00PM
Campus Closures / Holiday ScheduleThe Emory Career Center will be closed per the Emory University holiday schedule. In the case of inclement weather, Emory University will announce any additional closures through CEPAR (Office of Critical Event Preparedness and Response).

Meet with your career counselor
They can help you with a lot more than just your resume!

Call 404-727-6211 to schedule today!