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Externships: Information for Student Participants

Full descriptions and application information for the December 2014 externship program will be available on the Tunnel beginning on August 18. More externships will be added to the Tunnel up until Monday September 10. To see the full externship descriptions, click here to log into the Tunnel. On your student home page in the Tunnel, click on the "Carleton Exclusive Externship" link on the right side, and you'll see a list of all the externships.

Carleton’s Externship program connects students with alumni for a 1-4 week career exploration experience, which usually includes a focus project, shadowing options, and networking. Externships may include a homestay with the externship host, but this is not required.

Timeline for Winter Break 2014 Externships

  • Through Sep. 8 (Mon.) – Identify externship hosts and gather descriptions to be posted for students
  • By Sep. 10 (Wed.) – Finish posting externships in the Tunnel and start promoting them to students
  • Sep. 18 (Thu.) 7:00-8:00 pm – Externship Info. Session (Location: TBA)
  • Oct. 5 (Sun. @ 5:00 pm) – Deadline for student applications to be submitted to the Tunnel
  • Oct. 6-7 (Mon. – Tue.) – Applicant packets emailed to hosts for review & for selection of students for interviews
  • Oct. 8-14 (Wed. – Tue.) – Hosts conduct phone, Skype, or in-person interviews with students
  • By Oct. 14 (Tue.) – Hosts notify Brian about their selections
  • By Oct. 17 (Fri.) – Notifications sent by Brian to students selected/not selected
  • Oct. 24 (Fri.) – Financial Travel Assistance Applications Due by 3:00 pm
  • By Oct. 28 (Tue.) – Financial Travel Assistance Award Emails Sent
  • Oct. 29 (Wed.) 6:30-7:30 pm – Orientation for all Winter Break externs (Location: TBA)
  • Nov. 7 (Fri.) – Learning Plans & Waiver Forms Due
  • Dec. 1-Jan. 2/Winter Break. Time for externs to be on site at Host organizations (any dates mutually agreed upon)

Background/General Information

  • Main difference between externship and internship is in its shorter length: externships are from 1-4 weeks in length; most internships are 8-12 weeks.
  • Many students in the career exploration mode don’t need more than a few weeks to test themselves in a particular kind of work/career.
  • Many alumni hosts have wanted to host internships, which are typically longer in duration, but for multiple reasons never could (e.g., not enough substantive work, can’t dedicate ample time to make it good, organization puts up too many logistical/policy barriers). This 1-4 week experience is much more possible and manageable for some.
  • Placement with a domestic twist, The Financial Times (A PDF article focusing on the role of 25th Reunion Trustee Paul Van Valkenburg '82 and Barb (Behringer) Geiser '83 as externship volunteer hosts)
  • Hosting an Externship: The Pros and Con

Logistics and Particulars

  • The vast majority of externships take place during the Winter Break (December), but externships are also possible during Spring Break, the beginning of summer, and the end of summer.
  • The Career Center coordinates the application process and all applications are submitted through the Tunnel. All externship applications require a resume and a cover letter, although some externship hosts may require additional materials.
  • Hosts select a pool of student candidates whom they then interview (usually via telephone or Skype) before making their final selections.
  • Externships are unpaid.

Program Content

  • There are many variants possible in designing externships: rotational design, short-term project driven, involving other alumni, and more.
  • Some hosts offer two externships at the same time. This is attractive, in that the externs can “entertain themselves” at times, taking pressure off the hosts.
  • The work segment can be all or mostly observational in design, or project-oriented.

Program Outcomes

  • Many externs stay in touch with hosts, some with very strong relationships that endure.
  • Students gain clarity about a particular career field and/or organization.
  • Students who participate in a December externship are well positioned for a more in-depth internship experience during the following summer.
  • Through active networking during their externships students can build up their list of contacts for future internships and/or jobs.
  • Employers get an excellent "first look" at possible future interns or employees.

Among those hosts for whom this is initially a difficult decision (hosting an externship or not), most continue to host in subsequent years, pleased with their experiences.

    Related Documents

    Career Center pages maintained by Sarah Rechtzigel
    This page was last updated on 19 August 2014