Internships offer opportunities for students to get a taste of what it's like to work as a geoscientist. They also offer opportunities for departments and employers to forge mutually beneficial relationships. These pages on internship programs were developed as a result of discussions at the 2007 workshop on the Role of Departments in Preparing Future Geoscience Professionals.

Benefits of successful internship programs

Successful internship programs are win-win-win opportunities.

For departments

  • Enhances your reputation on campus, among administrators, faculty, and students
  • Links to local/regional employers of your alumni, past, present, and future
  • Ongoing relationship provides additional opportunities for present and future students to participate in internships
  • Enhances your reputation among other employers in your region
  • Selling point for student recruitment efforts

For students

  • Real-life experience, "testing the waters" to see whether they enjoy a particular job in a particular company
  • Improved post-graduation chances at employment
  • Opportunity to apply classroom learning to real situations
  • Opportunity to meet mentors outside of academia

For employers

  • Increased productivity
  • Source of new ideas
  • Connection to potential source of future employees
  • Cost-effective staffing

Designing successful internship programs

Designing a successful internship program requires thoughtful planning, just like any other learning exercise. As with other learning situations, internships work best when all parties involved are clear about the goals and expectations, when the work is meaningful and relevant for the student, when the 'instructor' provides sufficient explanations about how to do the work and is available to answer questions, and when the student is motivated. Read more about this.

Examples of internship programs

Ready to create an internship program at your college or university, but looking for examples so you don't have to reinvent the wheel? Here are a few.