Internships
We know internships are a valuable experience but don't take it from us. Listen to other Viterbo students:

 

"I have learned that I can actually do this [work]. Being in school for five years, you start to question your abilities. The only experience college gives you is book knowledge. I learned that I wish I would have done at least two internships throughout my college experience. This internship has given me the confidence I need to start a new career as a new college graduate.”

"My internship solidified my career plans. From a single marketing class I had in high school, I decided I wanted to go to college for marketing. However, I began questioning my choice at times. But, the experience I have gained through my internship has made me realize that marketing is something that I enjoy."

"I was able to employ counseling strategies and had the opportunity to act in an emergency situation. This helped me realize that I have the skills that will make me successful in my future career." 

"I have learned that I enjoy working in a lab and working with others who also enjoy science. Lab has a lot of troubleshooting and I enjoy being able to work out the solution to why something is not working. I also enjoy being surrounded by other scientists that are all knowledgeable and enjoy discussing science topics with me. It is a great way to expand your knowledge."

"I was able to live in Washington D.C. and intern for one of the most influential non-profits related to my career. I have learned so much, and was also connected to many well-known nutrition research professionals who have helped me learn more about nutrition and how to start my career."

"Even though I was at this internship for less than 150 hours, I feel that I learned much more than I would have in a classroom setting for a semester. If I had to suggest one thing for any student at Viterbo to do it would be to find internships along their way to increase not only their learning but their resume as well."

Check out our Viterbo University Intern playlist on YouTube for more internship ideas! 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is an internship?

"An academic internship is a form of experiential education that integrates knowledge and theory learned in the classroom with practical application and skill development in a professional setting. Students earn academic credit, or there is some other connection to a degree‐granting, educational institution. This work/learning arrangement is overseen by a faculty or staff member of an educational institution and by a designated employee of an organization. The internship is usually the length or equivalent of an academic term, may be part‐time or full‐time, paid or unpaid. An integral component of the experience that distinguishes it from other types of work is one or more forms of structured and deliberate reflection contained within learning agendas or objectives."  (formulated by subscribers to the Internship‐Net Listserv – May 2010)

Who can do an internship?

Anyone can do a no-credit internship at any time. All majors may participate in a for-credit internship provided they meet the minimum GPA requirement (minimum cumulative: 2.5) and have the approval of their academic advisor.

Practicum and field experiences are different from internships. Students in psychology, addiction studies, nutrition & dietetics, and social work should check with their academic advisor to ensure registration for the proper course.  Nursing internships are not eligible for academic credit.

Can I do an internship outside the La Crosse area?

Yes. We have had interns across the United States and in other countries.

Need somewhere to stay? Many colleges and universities across the county offer discounted housing for summer interns. Here are a couple of starting points. You can also look for alumni in the area or extended stay hotel or Airbnb. Some employers will also help you find housing, provide housing, or give you a living stipend so be sure to ask! 

You might also check out The Washington Center, an independent, nonprofit organization in Washington, D.C. that provides challenging opportunities for students to work and learn for academic credit.  Viterbo students who apply and are accepted into The Washington Center Internship Program can register for 12 credits of internship in one semester at Viterbo (which will cover the program fees) and utilize any financial aid benefits to cover the housing fees.   TWC will find a semester-long professional internship in the Washington, D.C. area to match your interests.  In addition, you will also take an academic course and participate in their LEAD (Leadership, Engagement, Achievement & Development) Colloquium. For more information, visit http://www.twc.edu/  and make an appointment with the Career Services Internship Coordinator.

How do I find a domestic internship?

You are responsible for finding your site; Career Services maintains a listing of possibilities. You will also want to prepare a resume.

  • For internships in the La Crosse area, use Viterbo's job and internship board, Handshake
  • For internships outside of the La Crosse area, check these sites:
    WisConnect - internships across the state
    Internships.com - internships across the country
    Indeed - internships across the country
    Vault - internships across the country
    LinkedIn - internships worldwide
  • Set up a meeting with the Internship Coordinator 
  • As your academic advisor and instructors
  • Attend career fairs and explore company websites 
  • Ask about internship possibilities when you are networking with people in your field
  • Do an online search for internships in specific communities. 
How do I find an international internship?

International internships are a wonderful opportunity to gain experience in a new setting. The Career Services and Study Abroad Offices work collaboratively to help students find vetted internship providers with genuine, high-impact experiences. In most cases, internships completed abroad have the option to transfer back to Viterbo for required internship or upper-division credits.
If you are interested in an international internship, please set up a meeting with the internship coordinator in the Career Services Office. Students will also need to meet with the Study Abroad Director, and complete a study abroad application, a partner application, and student learning contract.
International Internship Partners: 

I got an internship offer, now what?
  1. Determine if you will take the internship for-credit or not-for-credit. Talking with your academic/program advisor is highly encouraged.
  2. Report your internship in Handshake using these instructions:
    a. Open up your Handshake account at
    https://app.joinhandshake.com/. You will use your Viterbo email and password to log in. If this is your first time logging in, you’ll need to set up your account preferences. 

    b.    Once in your account, click on "Career Center" which appears in the menu on the top of your screen. 

    c.    Click "Experiences" and “Request an Experience” on the top right.

    d.    In the “Details” section, you will use the drop down and select:

    i.    “For-Credit Experience”

    ii.    The appropriate semester you are requesting credit in.

    e.    In the “Employer” section, enter:

    i.    Your employer’s name, address, industry, and site supervisor’s phone number and email address

    f.     In the “Job” section, enter:

    i.    Your position title, department, internship start and end date, salary (enter “0” if it’s unpaid), the approximate date the internship was offered to you, approximate date you accepted, and if you would like to add the experience to your profile (recommended)

    ii.    Use the dropdown to select “Internship” for “Job Type” and the appropriate classification for “Employment Type” (most often Part-Time for internships)

    g.    In the “Approver” section, enter:

    i.    Your site supervisor’s email address. If they do not already exist in the system as an approver, you’ll need to enter their first and last name, title, and phone number. 

    ii.    Your faculty advisor’s email address. If they do not already exist in the system as an approver, you’ll need to enter their first and last name, title, and phone number

    h.    In the “General” section, enter:

    i.    Your student ID # (including the 990), Viterbo email, cumulative GPA, year in school, major, if the internship is required by Viterbo for your program for graduation, and course number and prefix.

    ii.    Then, select “Next Page” and a new set of boxes will appear in the same section.

    iii.    You will need to enter your internship position title, total hours you’ll be working, your faculty advisor’s name, a short job description, if the internship will be completed domestically, how many credits you’re requesting, where you found the internship, and if you’ll be working at your site for more than one semester.

    iv.    Then, select “Request Experience.”  You’ll receive a confirmation email from Handshake indicating your request was received.

    i.     On the next screen, you will need to download the “Student Learning Contract” and “Student Code of Conduct.”

    i.    Complete both of these files, obtain necessary signatures and email them to Alyssa Gostonczik. 

    ii.    You may not register for the internship course until your documents are submitted and your internship is approved by your faculty advisor and site supervisor. You may not begin accruing hours for the internship until you are registered for credit.  

  3. Alyssa Gostonczik will contact you with additional instructions and paperwork, if necessary.

*Starting fall 2019, students may only begin to accrue hours after internship credits are registered for and the course has started. Internship hours may not be counted prior to the course start date.  

Do I have to take my internship for credit?

No. "Career Exploration Internships" are not-for-credit experiences. Career Services suggests a commitment of at least 40 hours within a semester.

If you are taking your internship for-credit, be sure to check with your academic advisor so you are enrolling in the correct number of credits in the right semester. Students will not be able to register for an internship course on their own. You must report your internship using the instructions in the section above and then contact Alyssa Gostonczik and fill out additional paperwork for registration.

How many credits can I earn?

Internships are available for 0-12 credits and are dependent upon the number of hours worked. In a regular semester, you can take up to 12 credits of internship; in the summer, the maximum number of credits is 9. Some academic departments require a specific number of internship credits. Note that average hours per week varies slightly during the summer semester, which is accelerated and based on a 12 week semester as opposed to the typical 16 week semester. Students may apply up to 15-credits of internship towards graduation. 

Credits

Total Hours Required

Average Hours Per Week Fall & Spring Semester (16 weeks)

Average Hours Per Week Summer (12 weeks)

1

48

3

4

2

96

6

8

3

144

9

12

4

192

12

16

5

240

15

20

6

288

18

24

7

336

21

28

8

384

24

32

9

432

27

36

10

480

30

-

11

528

33

-

12

576

36

-

Can I be paid for doing an internship?

Yes. Some internships are paid by the provider and others are unpaid. College students with financial need are often unable to accept unpaid internships in their fields of study because they need to earn a paycheck. By passing on an internship opportunity, they miss out on valuable, real-world experience in their fields of study.

Do I have to pay tuition for the internship?

Internship credits cost the same as any other classes at Viterbo. Your financial aid may help cover the tuition cost. Some students elect to do an internship and not take it for academic credit. Career Services will assist you in finding an internship regardless of whether you take it for credit or not. Remember: You MUST be enrolled to receive financial aid. Take this into consideration if you are thinking about doing a summer internship as you will need to pay for a summer internship during the summer semester. Students using tuition remission pay for summer internship tuition out-of-pocket. 

Why do an internship if I'm not required to have one for graduation?

An internship can bridge a gap between college and the work world, allowing students to experience the roles, expectations, and behaviors of the job arena. Students learn about their strengths, interests, problem-solving skills, and abilities to deal with clients and work under pressure. Students gain experience they can note on their resumes and for application to graduate school and may gain great networking connections and professional references. Also, the national average of college graduates have done AT LEAST TWO internships before graduation! So, you should do at least one internship during your college career in order to stay competitive within the job market -- even if it is not required by your major.

Can I get internship credit with my part-time or full-time job?

The answer is "maybe." You cannot get internship credit for doing what you are already doing. You'll need to take on new responsibilities or a new project to turn your existing job into a viable site for internship credit. Talk with your employer about "special projects" you could complete for internship hours. 

Last summer I had a great summer job related to my academic major. Can I apply my summer experience towards credit in the regular school year?

No. Credits must be taken during the semester in which the work is performed. Starting fall 2019, students may only begin to accrue hours after internship credits are registered for and the course has started. Internship hours may not be counted prior to the course start date.  

Besides putting in the required number of hours, what else do I have to do to get internship credit?

If you complete an internship for credit, you will fill out a Student Learning Outcomes forms based on the learning outcomes of your major, and you will complete assignments for the online internship course. Among other assignments, you will do three self-evaluations, attend Career Prep Series Events, and present at the Interns in Action poster session.

This sounds great! Who do I talk to in order to find out more?

Alyssa Gostonczik in Murphy 371, at 608-796-3829, argostonczik@viterbo.edu, or make an appointment in Handshake.