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Externships: Information for Student Participants

For full externship descriptions and application information 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 host, but students can also find lodging elsewhere.

Past externships have included stays in New York, Chicago, London, and numerous other locations in the US and abroad.

Timeline for Spring Break 2014 Externships

  • Through Dec. 31 – Identify externship hosts and gather descriptions to be posted for students
  • Jan. 3 (Fri.) – Post externships in the Tunnel and start promoting them to students
  • Jan. 15, (Wed.) 7:00-8:00 pm – Externship Info. Session
  • Jan. 29 (Wed. @ 5:00 pm) – Deadline for student applications to be submitted to the Tunnel
  • Jan. 31 (Fri.) – Applicant packets emailed to hosts for review & for selection of students for interviews.
  • Feb. 3 – 10 – Hosts conduct phone, Skype, or in-person interviews with students.
  • Feb. 11 (Tue.) – Hosts notify Brian about their selections.
  • Feb. 12 (Wed.) – Notifications sent by Brian to students selected/not selected
  • Feb. 17 (Mon.) – Financial Travel Assistance Apps. Due
  • Feb. 18 (Tue.) – Financial Travel Assistance Award Emails Sent
  • Feb. 24 (Tue.) 7:00-8:00 pm – Orientation for all Spring Break externs.
  • Mar. 7 (Fri.) – Learning Plans & Waiver Forms Due
  • Mar. 18 (Tue.) – Mar. 28 (Fri.) – Spring Break. Time for externs to be on site at Host organizations (any dates within this timeframe).

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.
  • We are in our fifth year with the Externship Program, which is to say that we have tested this model and we have experience managing it.
  • 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

  • There are five time periods during a year we hope to offer externships: winter break (first half of December), spring break,  beginning of summer, end of summer, and—possibly—students with a “required winter term off” due to study abroad.
  • Hosts are presented with a pool of student candidates whom they interview (usually via telephone or Skype) and select for externships.
  • 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. We have examples of very substantive project outcomes over a two-week or longer externship.

Program Outcomes

  • Many externs go on to become hosts themselves after graduation.
  • Many externs stay in touch with hosts, some with very strong relationships that endure and transcend any involvement by the career center or College.

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 15 April 2014