Trying out a career: Internships in the College of Arts and Sciences
Each year, hundreds of students in the College of Arts and Sciences earn academic credit for internships in which they apply classroom lessons to the professional world, gain job experience, explore different careers, and sometimes make contacts that lead to jobs after graduation.
More than a quarter of our graduating students receive their jobs directly or indirectly from internships and summer work experiences. Our students perform so well at their internships that employers often reach out to us and ask us to send more Fairfield students their way.
Fairfield University understands that internship experience is increasingly a necessity to be competitive in today’s job market. Therefore, Fairfield allows students to earn up to six credits for internship experience during their junior and senior year. Usually this means students complete two, three-credit internships.
Issues to consider and discuss with your faculty advisor:
How do I find an internship?
- Fairfield views this as an opportunity for you, with faculty guidance, to begin acquiring networking and job hunting skills. So we usually first ask students to search the internet and take advantage of any contacts or tips from contacts such as family members, staff from the Office of Career Planning, or even Fairfield alumni, in an effort to narrow the range of internship possibilities, then talk to a faculty adviser to arrive at some final choices.
- Many employers advertise their internships through Career Planning’s Stags4Hire internship database. Be sure you register for this as early as possible and no later than junior year. Students should also search the web sites of companies they are specifically interested in as many organizations post internships directly on their web sites. Finding an internship is a great time to build your networking skills.
- Career Planning is also an excellent resource for help in searching for an internship, creating a resume, and preparing for the internship interview.
What is Fairfield University's Alumni Job Shadowing program?
- Our job shadowing program is a way for you to "try out a career" first by shadowing one of our alumni over winter break. Hundreds of Fairfield juniors and seniors sign up for this program to spend a day with a professional in a field they are interested in pursuing. Remember that if you learn you do not want to pursue a certain field, that is valuable knowledge to have so early in your career discernment process.
Do I want to see what it is like to work in New York City?
- Much like you had to decide whether you wanted to attend college in an urban setting, you can use internships to help you decide whether you want to seek jobs in a city after graduation. Most internships are unpaid, and students should factor commuting time and costs in their decision.
Should I try out different careers or use my internship opportunities to gain experience within the same field?
- That depends! Sometimes recruters note that interning at the same place shows them that the student did a good enough job to get hired again. Interning at different companies also gives you a chance to try out different types of positions and fields. Talk with your advisor and staff in Career Planning to help make your decision.
Would I be happier working in an on-campus internship?
- We usually have placements available for qualified students in the university marketing office, sports information office, and other specific offices of student interest. Interning on campus is a great opportunity to learn more about careers in the nonprofit and higher education sectors.
Am I interested in an internship with local government?
- In the past two years, dozens of Fairfield students have interned at a variety of Bridgeport City Hall agencies through Bridgeport’s internship program. Students have interned in the sustainable development office, public relations, the city attorney’s office, the Mayor’s office, and other settings.
How can I best prepare for my internships?
- Start by looking at your department’s Classroom to Career guide which lists activities each year that can build on your classroom experience and provide you with tools to better prepare for the internship. Also, look for on-campus clubs and activities that can give you early experience. For example, if you want to pursue journalism, gain some experience with the campus student media. If you want to pursue an internship at Bridgeport City Hall, you might consider gaining some political experience through FUSA, the Fairfield University Student Association.
Check out more details on internships through specific CAS departments and programs. If your department is not listed, talk to your department chair.
Film, TV and Media
Latin American and Caribbean Studies
Modern Languages and Literatures
Peace and Justice Studies
Sociology & Anthropology
Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies
Other Internship Related Links:
Fairfield Online Recruiting System
Links to Helpful Career Related Resources by Field of Study/Interest