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258 Science Building
Cheney, WA 99004
An internship is when students work for an employer in a position related to their major field of study or career interest. Students obtain valuable knowledge and experience while earning college credit. The number of credits varies depending on the scope of work being performed.
Internships are an excellent way to:
- Explore career interests and pinpoint goals.
- Apply classroom learning to real-life projects and assignments.
- Develop valuable workplace and career skills.
- Provide references for obtaining your first job (… or sometimes internships may evolve into full-time employment).
- Connect with professionals who are resources for information/expertise.
Internships vary from job shadowing/observation to advanced research or application of knowledge/experience in a workplace setting. Internships may be paid or unpaid (volunteer) and offer the opportunity to earn credits that appear on your college transcript ~ 1 credit per 3-4 hours of interning per week. Examples of internships Biology students have participated in:
- Wildlife Biologist, 18 credits
- Hospital Emergency Room Technician, 14 credits
- Environmental Specialist, 6 credits
- Forest Conservation Watcher, 3 credits
- Horticulturist, 2 credits
- Marine Biologist Assistant, 8 credits
- Various medical and lab positions
End of degree program experience. When students are done or nearly done with degree coursework, a full-time internship enables them to put their knowledge/skills into practice. These internships may be paid or unpaid and often provide a centerpiece for your resume.
Some internship programs require that students pay a fee in exchange for the experience. These are generally offered through major research facilities and are more equivalent to attending a university-sponsored course. Despite the cost involved, these hands-on internships may provide excellent career opportunities.
How to Obtain an Internship
The Department of Biology works closely with the EWU Internship Office to provide information on current internships. Contacts:
- EWU Internship Office
Web Site:http://www.ewu.edu/career-services (click on "EagleAXIS" link to long on and search the database by major)
- Department of Biology
Sue Murphy, Science Bldg. 258A
- Internships Bulletin Board located across from Science 256 near stairwell provides information on specific job openings, ongoing programs, and previous internships students may want to pursue. Lists include positions that pertain to biology ~ both local and national. Click here to view the list of current internship openings. [NOTE: The internship list is in pdf format which requires Acrobat Reader to open. If you don't have the latest version of Acrobat Reader, go to the Adobe website, for a free download.] The bulletin board also includes a list of paid jobs ~ mostly local ~ that could be a starting point for identifying internship contacts or see the Biology Jobs web page (click here for weekly list of jobs).
- Biology Department Faculty. Speak with professors to find out if they have any contacts in your area of interest.
Cancer Research Internships List (http://www.fhcrc.org/science/education/Cancer%20Research%20Internships_FHCRC%20site.pdf)
Washington State Legislative Internship - excellent opportunity for undergraduate student whose career involves policy and/or legislation such as health administration or wastewater treatment or public lands (http://www.leg.wa.gov/internships/Pages/default.aspx#policy)
Setting Up Your Internship
Students are responsible for making contact with employers, preparing / submitting a resume, interviewing, and other search-related activities. As we're able, the Biology Department Internship Coordinator, faculty, and EWU Internship Office may assist. Once you've lined up an internship position, you should:
- Pick up an Intern Packet either from the Internship Office or the Department of Biology Internship Coordinator, Science 258A. This packet includes:
- Information on setting up your internship.
- Guidelines for conduct during your internship.
- Rough Draft and Official Learning Contract.
- Student Site Evaluation.
- Work-Site Supervisor packet of information that includes the 4th and 8th week Internship Performance evaluations ~ please give this to your workplace supervisor.
- Develop a draft learning contract in conjunction with your work place supervisor. This entails identifying the scope of work to be performed, work days/hours, learning objectives to be accomplished, and activities that will help you achieve your learning objectives.
- Line up a faculty advisor who will oversee your internship progress and assign a grade at the end of the internship. Generally your faculty advisor will be:
- Professor who specializes in the area of your internship
- Faculty who oversees program (i.e., Pre-Med, Environmental, etc.)
- Student's advisor
With your faculty advisor:
Begin your internship and have fun!
- Identify the level (BIOL 295, 395, 495 or 595 - based on year in school or level of activities involved iin the internship job), number of credits you will earn for the internship (1 credit per 3-4 hours per week for 10 weeks), and what activities/reports may be required to determine your progress/grade.
- Complete the Special Course Approval/Registration Form form available online or in the Biology Office, Science 258 ~ select the appropriate section (21 is for formal/external internships). Faculty advisor signs. Turn in the form to the Biology secretary, who will obtain Chair and Dean signatures and is forwarded to Records & Registration for entry onto your schedule. Watch Eaglenet ~ if it doesn't come up within 1 week, contact the Biology secretary to follow up. NOTE: There is an assessed fee for formal (section 21) internships (approximately $12) which covers student insurance and other processing costs.
- Finalize your Learning Contract. Student and faculty advisor sign. Obtain signatures from workplace supervisor and the Biology Internship Coordinator. Return the Learning Contract to the EWU Internship Office, 114 Showalter Hall.