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Internship Overview

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.


Other Internship Related Links:

Bridgeport Involvement

Fairfield University belongs to several important communities that shape our patterns of enterprise and accountability and we are committed to responsible citizenship through academic, cultural, and service programming and initiatives.

Bridgeport is among our most important communities. Partnerships with the City's public and parochial schools include not only professional credentialing of teachers and administrators, but also efforts to enrich the educational experience of children in grades K-12. In numerous ways, from soup kitchens to literacy programs to health promotion, the University joins with corporations and community organizations to improve quality of life.

Area education and training needs are also served by our growing number of professional, graduate, and part-time programs designed to provide well-prepared teachers, nurses, engineers, and business professionals. These sectors also draw on the University as a source of interns, career recruits, faculty research as well as education itself.

The University has become a well-established intellectual and cultural center offering a wealth of opportunities to young and old alike. Through these many efforts, both the University community and the Bridgeport community are enriched. The following is a sampling of these collaborations.

Government Projects

  • The City of Bridgeport Internship Initiative: For students interested in interning for the City of Bridgeport, a new initiative, contact Dr. Brian Walker

Public and Parochial School Involvement

  • Expanded tuition programs for graduates of Bridgeport high schools: Fairfield University collaborates with the schools on admission and financial aid mentoring, provides resources to cover group visits to campus, and funds a full tuition scholarship awarded every year at each of the four schools.
  • The Adrienne Kirby Family Literacy Project: An early intervention program designed to increase the school readiness of low income urban Head Start preschool-age children through direct tutoring of the children and through parent education workshops. Students are trained to be literacy coaches and are assigned to work individually with preschoolers who have been identified as having delays in their language development. In addition to this supervised applied experience, several of our Psychology majors have used their work at Head Start to become involved in research.
  • Literacy Program at Cesar Batalla School in Bridgeport: Service-learning courses like the Graduate School of Education and Allied Professions course that supports literacy efforts at the Cesar A. Batalla Elementary School in Bridgeport.
  • Fairfield University again named to the 2012 President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. 
  • Fairfield University and the City of Bridgeport announce internship collaboration. 
  • The University has an ongoing financial commitment to provide a full tuition scholarship to one student each year from each of our Community Partner High Schools: Bassick, Harding, Central, and Kolbe-Cathedral.
  • Undergraduate Admission sponsors visits from Bridgeport schools, providing mock classes, campus tours, and a two-day intensive workshop on choosing a college.
  • University President Jeffrey von Arx, S.J., is co-chair of the Bridgeport Higher Education Alliance, formed in 2005, and designed as an outreach program to public and parochial schools providing mentoring and after school programs in mathematics and literacy. He is also a Board member of the Bridgeport Public Education Fund.
  • The Fairfield University-Diocese of Bridgeport Teacher Certification Partnership supports the education mission of Catholic schools by strengthening the preparation and professional development of the Diocese' K-12 teaching staff.
  • The University hosts the Connecticut Writing Project which sponsors faculty development in literacy, reading, and writing across the curriculum in regional schools including Bridgeport.
  • Fairfield's Quick Center for the Arts provides more than 3,000 grant tickets and develops study guides for 20 schools in Bridgeport to attend Quick Center performances as part of its Artsbound Outreach Program. In 2008, the Quick Center will sponsor a weeklong Literacy Theater Residency program with Park City Magnet School.
  • Teacher education students are working with St. Andrew Elementary School in developing curricula in environmental education and working with teachers and elementary school students to create sustainable garden projects.
  • The Mighty Math Club was developed at Bryant Elementary School and is an after school math tutoring program conducted by Fairfield's teacher education students.
  • Fairfield's Upward Bound program works with Bridgeport Public High School students to strengthen their academic, intellectual, and social skills needed for entrance to and graduation from college.
  • The University and Bridgeport public schools are collaborating on another USDOE program in arts education. The initiative provides funds for staff development, mentoring, special conferences and colloquia and an intensive summer Institute for Music Educators.
  • Other initiatives include service-learning courses within the Graduate School of Education and Allied Professions (GSEAP) that supports literacy efforts and research at the Cesar A. Batalla Elementary School in Bridgeport. GSEAP also has structured partnerships with Saint Ann Elementary School and collaborates with the New Beginnings Family Academy in Bridgeport.
  • Through a National Professional Development (NPD) grant from the U.S. Department of Education, one of the largest grants in Fairfield University's history, GSEAP faculty members will train educators in four cities including Bridgeport to better teach English language learners (ELLs) and students with special education needs. Over the next five years, the B.E.S.T. Education Project (Bilingual Education, Special Education and TESOL) will train about 55 practicing teachers in partner districts of Bridgeport, Danbury, Norwalk and Stamford. These districts enroll more than 25 percent of all ELL students in the state.
  • A significant school-university partnership launched by Bridgeport Interim Superintendent Paul Vallas and GSEAP at Fairfield University will include an Early College Dual Enrollment Plan that will allow qualified Bridgeport high school seniors to take introductory courses at Fairfield University, as well as at colleges in Bridgeport. The Bridgeport school district will pay the students' tuition. The goal is to connect students with local colleges and to prepare more college-ready students.


Non-Profit Organization Involvement

  • The School of Nursing Health Promotion Center (HPC) located in First Baptist Church is a University initiative that has served the greater Bridgeport community for 14 years. Faculty, staff and students provide free health education, screening, and referral for blood pressure, cholesterol, and glucose. The target audience is moderate to low-income children, adults, and seniors. The HPC serves over 3,000 individuals annually.
  • The ELDER Project of the School of Nursing brings best practices for the care of older adults to RNs, PLNs, and nurses aides in four partner agencies in Bridgeport: Southwest Community Health Center, the VNS of Connecticut, The Carolton Rehabilitation Hospital, and St. Joseph's Manor.
  • The School of Nursing is also partnering with Bassick High School and FSW, Inc. to provide a special after-school program at FSW. The program is geared to 9th graders and designed to change harmful behaviors through exposure to a broader social context. Fairfield students are involved in mentoring and special activity development.
  • Our undergraduate and graduate nursing students are placed in St. Vincent’s Hospital, Bridgeport Hospital, and Southwest Community Health Center. Our recently developed Nurse Anesthesia graduate program provides most of the nurse anesthetists for Bridgeport and the region.
  • Annually, Fairfield students participate in Hunger Cleanup, in large measure with agencies in Bridgeport. In 2007, close to 500 students, alumni, faculty, and staff went in groups to do a variety of services agencies can't afford to pay to have done - outdoor spring yard cleaning, painting, cleaning basements, washing windows, stocking food pantries, and cleaning up Seaside Beach and the Gardens. The next Hunger Cleanup is March 29.
  • Students in an Ignatian Residential College Language and Literacy course work weekly with Mercy Learning Center's early education program.
  • A Dolan School of Business service-learning course assisted Greater Bridgeport Habitat for Humanity with their strategic planning process, exposing our students to strategic management issues in nonprofit organizations.
  • The Center for Faith and Public Life (CFPL) brought together faculty, staff, administrators, and students together with representatives of nonprofit organizations, several from Bridgeport, to discuss an assets-based approach to building University-community partnerships.
  • The CFPL is working closely with the Greater Bridgeport Family Economic Security Coalition to develop a comprehensive financial education program that would dovetail off of the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance services in which our School of Business students and faculty are already involved. The CPFL also works closely with the Diocese of Bridgeport and Catholic Charities on issues related to immigration.
  • The University's Campus Ministry program advises over 20 student-led community service groups that volunteer in the Bridgeport community. Close to 400 students participate in this program, and during the past year more than 6,000 hours of volunteer service was done through this initiative.


Private Sector Involvement

  • The University is under contract with the Arena at Harbor Yard which is the home court for our men's and women's basketball programs. The University is also committed to bringing additional NCAA Division I sports activities to the Arena by hosting post-season tournament action.
  • On an annual basis students are placed as interns at corporate and non-profit offices in Bridgeport. Examples include Black Rock Art Center, Habitat for Humanity, New Resources Group, Pullman & Comley, Arena at Harbor Yard, Bridgeport Sound Tigers, International Institute of Connecticut, Augenbraun & Associates, Council of Churches of Greater Bridgeport, and Groundwork Bridgeport.

City Of Bridgeport Internship Program For Fairfield University Students

In 2013, Fairfield University, in partnership with the City of Bridgeport, set up a new internship program to place students with Bridgeport city government agencies.

Administrators of the program work with students to place them in city agencies that match their academic majors and interests such as the Mayer's office, the animal shelter, the environmental science office, the city attorney's office, etc. 

Students receive academic credit for the internship. If interested reach out to the contact person for more information. Or if you have more general questions, contact:‌

  • ‌The internship director or chair of your department
  • Erin McDonough, City of Bridgeport, (203) 337-2335;
  • Dr. Brian Walker, Associate Dean, College of Arts & Sciences, Fairfield University; (203) 254-4000 ext. 2227

‌If you want to suggest an internship for a position not on this list, we encourage you to pursue it anyway. Take a look at the city's website.

Internship Options:

Office of the Mayor and CAO: Politics, Communication, Economics, English, Management

  1. Assistance with various city projects
  2. Assisting the Press Secretary with setting up events for the Mayor, informing the public of various projects going on in the City, assistance with press releases and statements from the City, etc.
  3. Assistance with responding to citizen phone calls, e-mails, or letters from the public
  4. Public Service Announcements
  5. Staffing the Mayor at various events
  6. Assist with getting the public involved in community events and city projects
  7. Work with the Mayor's press secretary to create a campaign to encourage city residents to utilize social media to communicate with City government.

Very strong oral and written communication skills, ability to multi-task and meet various deadlines, strong interpersonal skills, detail oriented, bilingual would be a plus. 5–10 hours per week.

Elaine Ficarra

Office of Planning and Economic Development:
Economics, Politics Engineering, Studio Art/Graphic Design/Film, Architecture, Urban Planning, Geography/Geographic Information Systems, Construction Management, Computer Science, Business, Urban Studies, Sociology, Criminal Justice

  • Work with the director of neighborhood revitalization to develop a procedural manual that will be used to translate neighborhood plans into action items and prioritize project implementation and funding.
  • Work with the director of land use and construction review to identify best practices in implementing e-government solutions to the permitting process in the zoning and buildings departments and determine a strategy for implementing appropriate aspects of those best practices into Bridgeport's policy.
  • Work with the director of land use and construction review and the planning director to identify best practices in zoning and design guidelines to make the city's commercial corridors more pedestrian and transit friendly.
  • Work with the director of neighborhood development and the planning director to assess opportunities for additional bike routes and enhanced pedestrian spaces in the downtown and neighborhood centers by assessing existing utilization of public rights of way and identifying locations where national 'complete streets' best practices can be implemented.
  • Work with the director of neighborhood development and the director of the office to develop a triple bottom line assessment strategy for planning and economic development policies.
  • Assisting with neighborhood design interventions; aiding and assisting storefront facade staff in target areas with the processing of merchant applications and inquiries, collecting site data and pictures
  • Assisting staff with architectural design, negotiation, construction management
  • Creating program-wide data and mapping architectures; entering and mapping neighborhood commercial, architectural, crime and program data
  • Editing, designing and/or authoring video or PowerPoint presentations and program materials
  • Assisting small businesses with aid programs including the SBA and micro lenders; drafting legal and programmatic documents
  • Processing varied neighborhood requests for services; neighborhood business association development and outreach

Good written communications skills, analytical, detail oriented. Experience in graphic design and/or video editing software, computer programming, JavaScript or GIS, fluency in Spanish and/or Vietnamese is a plus depending on project. 5–10 hours per week.

David Kooris

City Attorney's Office: Pre-law, Business Law, Politics, Applied Ethics

  1. Research for various legal opinions
  2. Assistance with various city projects
  3. Assist Paralegals, Legal Secretaries and Attorneys in the city attorney's office
  4. Observe and assist attorneys at hearings, meetings, boards & commissions

Very strong oral and written communication skills, research, detail oriented. 5–10 hours per week.

Mark Anastasi

Human Resources: Communication, Management, English (especially Professional Writing)

  • Building an internal employee training program.
  • Rewriting job descriptions and job titles.
  • Development of Employee Recognition Program
  • Development/Updating of Employee Performance Reviews
  • Assistance with Union Contract Negotiations
  • Employee Wellness Programs - physical and fiscal

Excellent written skills. Organized and detail oriented. Works well independently and at times in a team environment. Strong interpersonal skills - must be able to work with all types of employees (race, sex, nationality, entry level, supervisory, department head, blue collar, white collar, etc). 5–10 hours per week.

Jodie Paul-Arndt

Film Project: Visual and Performing Arts/New Media, Communication English (especially Journalism)

  1. "Bridgeport Know-How" a series of 1-5 minute video clips that would show residents a snap shot of city projects and provide information on how to use it.

(5–10 hours per week)

    1. instructional videos on how to use city services
    2. video of green infrastructures, e.g. new park improvements, etc.

Ted Grabarz

Sustainability: Environmental Studies, Biology, Economics, Chemistry

  • Carbon Footprint Forecasting Reduction - Examine existing conditions relative to energy use today and forecast out various reductions based on current rate of reduction as well as other stochastic methods. (5–10 hours per week)
  • Based on List of City Proposed Projects
  • Using GHG Study (RPA 2010)
  • Bridgeport Energy Strategy (RPA 2010)
  • Property Value Changes due to Parks Enhancements (Research Question - How do parks and/or open space lead to changes in property values? Review the primary literature on property value changes due to proximity to park/open space location and forecast changes in property values) (5–10 hours per week)
  • Based on Parks Master Plan
  • Using Water Front Recapture Overlay
  • Climate Mitigation Data for Sea Level Rise
  • City of Bridgeport GIS for Property Values
  • TPL Trust for Public Land data


  1. Green Zones - Economic Incentives (Research Question - Do Green Zones Work? Examine the existing P&Z standards and ordinances in the city, the extant literature and propose economic incentive programs tied to areas such as zoning bonuses, green building standards etc.) (5–10 hours per week)
  • Review of existing enabling ordinances that exist today.
  • Review of existing best practices.
  • Functional versus physical view of green zone concept, i.e. incentive program versus spatial location.
  1. Green Infrastructure - (Research Question - What are the specific water quality enhancements due to green infrastructure as well biological enhancements due to the reduction in anthropogenic impacts of non-point source pollution. (Review the literature such as nitrogen standards and the University of New Hampshire Storm Water Center and make recommendations). (5–10 hours per week)
  • Review green infrastructure plan.
  • Develop different green infrastructure strategies.
  1. Biodiversity in Urbanized Areas - (Development of baseline biological surveys of terrestrial and aquatic and marine organisms). (5–10 hours per week)
  • Yellow Mill
  • Pleasure Beach
  • Pequannock River
  • City Parks
  1. Valuation of Biodiversity in urban areas. (Examine the components of natural capital in the literature as well as recreational capital and propose aggregate indices and values of those systems). (5–10 hours per week)
  2. Energy Analyst - (Analyze the City of Bridgeport's current energy portfolio)
    1. Review traditional utilities, solar energy, anaerobic digester and Eco-Industrial Park projects and categorize existing data on energy consumption, costs and savings.
    2. Assist with implementation of energy projects.

Ted Grabarz

General Government: Accounting, Finance, Information Systems/Operations Management

  1. Project: Centralized purchasing systems (pros/cons), Contract compliance tracking, Review of bid procedures
  2. Project: Centralized revenue collection systems in municipal government - How would that work, pros/cons?
  3. Project: Streamline the tracking of land records and property owner information among various city departments. This project would entail coming up with a consistent and uniform method of tracking city parcels and ownership information so that records in all city departments are the same. The major departments involved are Engineering, Tax Assessor, Tax Collector, Building Department, Zoning, Housing, Environmental Health, Anti-Blight.

Project oriented, detail oriented, multi-tasker. Works well independently. Good oral and written communication skills. Will need to do a great deal of research both in and outside of the City, but will also need to be analytical and think outside the box for solutions. 5–10 hours per week.

Jodie Paul-Arndt

Bridgeport Animal Shelter: Veterinary Science, Biology, Communication, Marketing, English (especially Professional Writing and Journalism)

  1. Assistance with shelter animals. 5–10 hours per week.
    • Basic care of animals (food, water, shelter, exercise)
    • Assist with transporting animals to Veterinarian
    • Observe and possible assist with care of animals while at Veterinarian
    • Assist with Adopt a Pet program
  1. Creating a marketing program for the shelter. 5–10 hours per week.
    1. Public service announcements
    2. Promotional events
    3. Creative ways to get information out to the public

Jimmy Gonzalez

ITS: Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Software Engineering, Information Systems/Operations Management, English (especially Professional Writing, Journalism)

  1. Assistance with project management
  2. Assistance with maintaining and updating the City's data network
  3. Assistance with examining city departments and identifying software and hardware solutions for better functionality and data tracking
  4. Assistance with City's intranet, and information and access for constituents on the City website
  5. Assisting the ITS Support Specialists with the Help Desk, processing requests received troubleshooting and closing out tickets
  6. GIS and mapping, gathering data and assisting with updating the city's GIS layers and creating new layers


Good written communications skills, analytical, detail oriented. 5–10 hours per week.

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