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Career & Life Planning

Internships Information

Rollins Internship Program

An internship must offer meaningful exposure to a professional, college-level career field. It should relate to one's field/major of interest and typically lasts one semester.

Internships can be:
• Paid or Unpaid
• For Academic Credit or Not-for-credit
• Part-Time (approx. 12-15hrs/wk) or full-time

 “The expert in anything was once a beginner.” – Helen Hayes

According to the NACE 2018 survey of employers, one of the top qualities employers look for in new hires is if they have had an internship in the field and they reported that 67% of interns were offered full-time positions by their employer.

Students are encouraged to participate in 2 internships during college,
 at least one by the end of their junior year.

Benefits of Having an Internship

• Explore career fields and find out what you like and don't like to do
• Gain relevant real-world experience to enhance your resume
• Observe professional people and behavior 
• Develop networking skills and gain professional contacts in your career field of interest
• Be more competitive in your full-time job search and/or graduate school applications   

• Connect classroom learning to practical applications
• Understand the relevance of your course work
• Increase your motivation to learn
• Use resources that are not available on campus

• Boost your maturity and self-confidence    
• Enjoy a greater clarity about career decisions 
• Integrate your faith and values with work

Internships are beneficial on their own and students can pursue an internship without pursuing academic credit. However, the added benefit of an academically credited internship is so valuable, we always recommend students consider this option.

Set a Goal

Decide what kind of opportunity you are looking for and when you want to pursue that. You can participate in an internship during the fall, spring, or summer semester. Make sure that you are planning ahead in case you need to consider a semester abroad or other academic commitments. You should not wait to plan for your internship just before your last semester. Start early. 

Create a timeframe and track your deadlines

  • Looking locally? Apply 2-3 months out from your desired start date.
  • Thinking big (like New York, Boston, or D.C.)? Apply 3-6 months out.
  • Is it highly competitive (like with the CIA)? Apply 6-9 months in advance.
  • Consider the industry: some industries (like Finance) seek interns up to a year before the experience takes place.

If you need academic credit, keep in mind that you have 2 deadlines: the employer's and Rollins' registration deadline. Registration dates for Academic Internship Course are as follows:

  • Summer: March 20 - May 10
  • Fall: June 1 - August 20
  • Spring: November 1 - January 10

Set Your Goal Into Action 

To improve your chances of finding and securing an internship experience, we recommend the following steps as a guide:

Create a resume and cover letter and have them reviewed by Career & Life Planning staff - Come into the Career Studio for drop-in hours 10 AM - 2 PM or make an appointment for a Document Review on Handshake.

  • Typically, you will need a Targeted Resume, a Targeted Cover Letter, & List of 3-5 References. However, only send the documents that you are asked to submit. Each document should be separate and remember that your headers should match!

Focus your search on a field or area - In order to help you do a database search (like on Handshake or LinkedIn), it can be important to know the industries you want to gain experience in as well as the types of areas you want to work in. Even if you are open, think about two or three to give your search some focus. 

  • Your search could be narrowed or expanded by Field/industry of interest, the location of interest, or which experiences or transferable skills you hope to gain by the end of an internship. Think about casting a wide net and then narrowing down with targeted Keywords.

Search in a variety of places and with a variety of sources - Sticking with one search engine or hoping that one connection will bring you your dream internship is not realistic. Use a variety of sources, like Handshake and the resources detailed below. 

  • Use the great resources on Handshake
    • Internship postings on Handshake are reviewed Center for Career & Life Planning and employers who post are already expected to follow our Academic Internship Guidelines
    • There are a ton of other great Resources on Handshake that can assist you in your search or preparation including Vault, GoinGlobal, and What Can I Do With this Major? 
  • Research the industry on Occupational Outlook Handbook and review the company's website.
  • Identify companies that Rollins alumni work for by using the Alumni Search Tool on LinkedIn or checking out the Careers By Major Alumni Report
  • Locate and connect with these alumni through LinkedIn and request an informational interview.
  • Find other resources on our Internship Search Action Plan and use it during an Internship Search appointment with a CCLP staff member. 

Keep good track during your search - As you begin to expand your search and applications, it's easy to get mixed up and forget important details. Track your applications and next steps with resources like our Internship Search Tracking Sheet in the Internship Search Action Plan. 

  • Insider tip: Save/print the internship posting description so you can refer back to it if you are called for an interview. Often, postings are taken down by the time interviews are scheduled, so you won't have access to review it later. 

Expand your scope - Just like you should search in more than one place, you should think about applying to more than one opportunity. Applying to more internships can increase your chances of landing one, especially under a tight timeline.

  • There is no perfect number, but think about following suggestions: 
    • Apply for 3-5 when focusing on a small town/area, like the Winter Park-Maitland area.
    • Apply for 5-7 when focusing on a large city, like Greater Orlando.
    • Apply for 7-10 when focusing on a highly competitive area, like Washington, D.C. or New York City.

Create Your Own Experience

For some professions, there are fewer opportunities advertised on public job boards. For instance, shadowing opportunities or externships in the medical field. 

Connect with your network - Often, your family, professors, or friends may be connected to great people or organizations in your field of interest or in your desired geographic area. Having them provide a warm introduction could open up options for new experiences. 

  • You may also use LinkedIn to connect with alumni in fields or areas of interest. It's important to be professional and courteous in these interactions - you should not be asking for a job when you send your first message!
    • Connect with the Center for Career & Life Planning to have one of our staff members help you prepare for an Informational Interview. 

Have your supervisor connect with our office - If you and a company have come up with a great idea for an internship experience and you want to make sure it will count for academic credit, all you need to do is have your supervisor connect with the Center for Career & Life Planning to make sure the position aligns with our Academic Internship Policies. 

Approval & Registration

Students can earn academic credit for an internship by enrolling in the academic internship course: INTN (General Elective) or (Major/Minor) 397. This course is offered during fall, spring, and summer semesters. Please review the eligibility criteria at the bottom of the page.

How do I register for the academic internship course?

All academic internships are registered through FoxLink. Navigate to Academic Internship Registration under your Student Tab and follow this guide by the deadlines below:

Registration for Academic Internship Course are as follows:

  • Summer: March 20 - May 10
  • Fall: June 1 - August 20
  • Spring: November 1 - January 10

How can my employer get my internship approved for academic credit?

If your employer would like to have their internship approved for academic credit, please have them review our Internship Posting Policies for employers. Once the internship aligns with our criteria, you can then register your internship through Foxlink. We recommend sharing this inclusive employer guide with your internship organization, so they are aware of the expectations and committment needed for a successful internship experience. 

Although the majority of the internship postings on Handshake have been reviewed by staff at the CCLP, all students must still go through the process of submitting their internship for approval via FoxLink in order to get academic credit. The internship may require additional approval for major course credit. In addition, students must clear all student account holds before registrations can be finalized. 

If you are an international student studying on an F-1 Visa, you must also complete the Curricular Practical Training (CPT) form and submit it to the Office of International Student & Scholar Services. This form must be signed by your site supervisor, your academic advisor, and a staff member at the Center for Career & Life Planning. In order for Career & Life Planning staff to sign your form, you must bring in your position description and fill out the goals statement on the CPT form. 

How do I know if I'm eligible for academic credit?

All Students:

  • Must be in good academic standing during the semester of the internship
  • May need to receive additional approval or provide additional information to meet eligibility requirements to receive credit in the major or minor
  • Have no student account holds (financial, advisor, etc..)

CLA Students:

  • Must have earned at least 30 semester hours (usually the start of the Sophomore year)
  • Will not earn more than 12 internship credit hours in all while at Rollins, including internships offered through the Office of International Programs

Hamilton Holt Students:

  • Must have completed at least one semester enrolled in Hamilton Holt
  • Will not earn more than internship credit hours in all while at Rollins, including internships offered through the Office of International Programs

Additionally, INB Students:

  • Must have completed at least one of the following courses: INB 337, INB 365, INB 372

Please note: Students may be required to meet additional criteria to receive academic credit in their major or minor, such as class standing or prerequisite courses. Students should check with their Faculty Advisor (CLA) or Academic Advisor (Holt) to find out if there are additional criteria to participate in an internship for major/minor credit.

How many credits can I receive per semester? 

Most students seeking major credit for their internships must receive 4 credit hours. If students are seeking general elective credits, they can receive 2, 3, or 4 credit hours. How many credit hours you receive will not change the requirements of the online Academic Internship course, but it will affect the number of working hours you need to complete by the end of the semester in order to get credit. All hours and course assignments need to be completed in order for a student to receive credit for their internship. 

  • 2 credits – 80 hours on site
  • 3 credits – 120 hours on site
  • 4 credits – 160 hours on site (This is the most typical)

Fall/Spring internships must be 12 - 15 weeks in length.
Summer internships must be at least 9 weeks in length.

What if I'm taking an internship course outside of Rollins?

Internships for transfer credit must be pre-approved by the Assistant Director for Internship Programs, your academic advisor, and potentially your department chair. We will review the syllabus for your internship course and assess whether or not it meets the Rollins College requirements for academic credit. 

To learn more about these internship alternatives be sure to review

The Academic Internship Program promotes self-awareness and career development by integrating academic learning with workplace experience.

Academic internships have several advantages:

  • Students receiving academic credit are enrolled in a concurrent online course, where they receive empirically based reflective assignments to increase learning
  • The academic internship course requires students to participate in career development activities: writing or updating a resume, creating or updating a LinkedIn profile, participating in a mock interview, and more
  • Some internships are available only to students who are eligible to get academic credit
  • Academic internships usually have greater credibility with potential employers, as they have been vetted to ensure that the student has a meaningful experience

Academic Internship Course

Research in the field of Experiential Education has found that "active reflection" during and after an internship increases student learning and skill ascertainment. Because of this, Rollins students receive academic credit not only for participating in their approved internship but also by completing intentional assignments in an academic internship course. This mixed-mode course runs concurrently with other fall and spring semester courses. In addition, during the summer, students can enroll in a 9-week academic internship course.

Course Requirements

1 Mandatory Orientation - Before you start your academic internship, make plans to attend this in-person or virtual orientation, which acts a syllabus day to introduce you to the course and your faculty member. Dates for the Mandatory Orientation will be listed within your Canvas course and may be shared by your faculty instructor each semester.  

Assignments are Online - All assignments, including discussion posts, goal setting, reflections, and time sheets are provided and collected through Canvas and e-mail correspondence with your Rollins faculty instructor. This means that, especially in summer, you can complete the course and internship from anywhere! 

This course is Credit/No Credit - Credit is awarded based on completion of academic assignments and hours worked at the internship site. 

Are you planning on engaging in a summer internship this year, but you need help funding the experience? The Rollins Gateway Fellows program is an opportunity to  apply for funding towards the costs of your summer internship: transportation, housing, living expenses, internship course fees, etc.

The Gateway Fellows at Rollins College

Summer Internship Funding Program

The Rollins Gateway Fellows program offers funding to support selected undergraduate students participating in academic internships during the summer. Funding will be awarded based on the evaluation of application materials and internship opportunity, as well as financial need (as determined by the Rollins Office of Financial Aid and/or personal statement, along with the student’s proposed budget). Students from all majors are encouraged to apply!
Funding is made possible thanks to the generosity of:
  • Alumni Donors supporting student engagement in broad internship experiences
  • The Johnson Family Foundation supporting student engagement in internship experiences with non-profit organizations whose efforts focusing on LGBTQ and social justice issues
To be eligible to apply, students should meet the following criteria:
  • A current undergraduate student (expected graduation August 2023 or later) enrolled in the College of Liberal Arts or the Hamilton Holt School
  • Have secured or be actively pursuing an internship for summer 2023 that is a minimum of 9 weeks in length
  • Internship has been pre-approved to receive academic credit from the College (or student is in the process of working with the Center for Career & Life Planning to have internship approved for credit).
  • Be in good standing with the College (not on academic probation)
  • Will have earned at least 30 semester hours by the end of the spring 2023 semester
  • Considering previous credit-bearing internships that the student has completed (including those through the Office of International Programs), engaging in this internship course should not take students over the following Rollins internship credit limits: 12 credits for CLA, 8 credits for Holt
  • Commit to register for the Rollins Summer 2023 Academic Internship Reflection Course (which requires a tuition cost of $500 – included in the funding if student is selected)
Program Requirements:
  • Pre-Internship Orientation (or individual pre-internship meeting with the Academic Internship Programs Team)
  • Successful completion of the Academic Internship Reflection Course during awarded semester
  • Final Reflection Project that covers the impact of both the experience and the funding the student received, the key learnings/takeaways, examples of growth, and the student’s plans moving forward with their career journey. This is separate from any internship course reflection assignments, and may take the form of:
    • Some form of creative media with explanation (video, art piece, blog, etc.)
  • Commitment to sharing about your summer experience during the successive academic year. Opportunities may include writing a Thank You note to program donors, attending Alumni networking events, meetings with the President’s office, being interviewed by Rollins 360, etc.
Application Checklist and Deadlines:

Application materials outlined below must be e-mailed in full to Jessica Jurado Arroyo at by the following deadlines:

Call for Applications: February 20th, 2023

Priority Deadline for early notification of funding: 5:00pm March 24th, 2023
Final Deadline for submitting all materials: 5:00PM April 23rd, 2023

  • Gateway Fellows Internship Application Form
  • Budget Worksheet and Supporting Links Document (if applicable)
  • Current Resume
  • Personal Essay: One to three (1-3) page typed essay describing your career goals and how this summer internship opportunity fits into your strategy for achieving them. Include explanation of internship role and tasks, as well as your personal learning goals for the internship, and how they benefit your future plans. Include a clear, compelling explanation of your need and how this award will impact your ability to participate in this summer internship

Ø  IMPORTANT NOTE: Review the Funded Internship Application Scoring Rubric for insight into what will be evaluated in your application materials. Funding is limited, so make sure to put your best foot forward!

Looking for a Summer Internship Opportunity? Log in to Handshake to view the over 3,000 internship opportunities posted or to schedule an internship search appointment! You can also stop by our Career Studio during drop-in hours M-F from 10am-2pm. We’re here to help! 

Internship Criteria for Virtual Internships 

Internships should have a focus on the learning experience for the student, including the environment in which that learning takes place. For optimal learning, students need to be in a physical environment with individuals with whom they interact on a regular basis. They need to learn interpersonal skills, office politics, and how to navigate real-world situations. As such, virtual internships, where students work remotely, can only be approved if the following criteria are met. 

  • The organization must be an established, legitimate business or non-profit, as evidenced by considerations such as physical location, website, history of offering paid employment, listed telephone number, tax ID number, etc. It is the college’s discretion to fully vet any information provided by the organization.  
    • Ideally, companies/organizations operate in the same geographic areas as interns and supervisors are available for in-person meetings at least once a week. 
    • If students are not in the same geographic area as the company/organization, then students must meet in a face-to-face platform, such as Skype, Blue Jeans, Zoom, etc. with their direct supervisor at least once a week and every effort must be made to connect the student with a representative of the organization that they may meet in person on a semi-regular basis.  
  • Internship supervisors provide a detailed position description with clearly defines expectations and outlines the criteria for a “successful” internship, as approved by the college’s internship advisor. The internship provided must meet the criteria of a legitimate internship outlined in the Academic Internship Policies as well as the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) policies:
    • The experience must be an extension of the classroom: a learning experience that provides for applying 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.  
    • The skills or knowledge learned must be transferable to other employment settings.  
    • The experience has a defined beginning and end, and a job description with desired qualifications.  
    • There are clearly defined learning objectives related to the student’s professional goals.  
    • There is supervision by a professional with expertise and education and/or professional background in the field of the experience.  
    • There is routine feedback by the experienced supervisor.  
    • There are resources, equipment, and facilities provided by the host employer that support learning objectives/goals.  
  • The organization should make the virtual intern a part of regular operations as much as possible; for example, including them in face-to-face opportunities such as company meetings or client visits. 
    • Provisions should be made for students to interact with other professionals besides their supervisor through activities such as field work or networking events - in the event that the entire organization is working virtually, these experiences may also be virtual. 
  • The organization’s internship mentor/supervisor must provide student with regular oversite. 
    • Internship supervisors must provide students access to the company intranet or virtual workspace on a server, online project management tool, or document-sharing tool. This may include Office 365, Google Docs, etc. to allow supervisor to access and monitor students work on a consistent basis. 
  • Internship supervisors require students to submit daily e-mail reports regarding hours worked, challenges or problems encountered, actions completed, and any questions they may have. 
    • Students should be able to provide a faculty advisor or internship professor with the outputs of their internship; for example: written materials produced, analyses completed.  

**Please note**: For safety and liability reasons, students are not allowed to intern out of individual’s private homes, even home offices.