What exactly is an internship? (And do I want one?) Getting Started

The value of a solid internship offers many benefits: work experience, on-the-job training, networking, professional contacts, and maybe even a job offer! Are you ready to get started with an internship?

Take this quiz to be sure

    • Yes/No – I have completed a minimum of 30 hours in my program of study, or if a Bachelor of Applied Science student, 30 hours of upper-level coursework. Internships should be completed in the student’s last term.
    • Yes/No – I have a minimum GPA of 2.0, or 3.0 if a Bachelor of Applied Science student.
    • Yes/No – I am a student “in good standing” with Polk State College and have acquired
      program director approval to pursue an internship.
    • Yes/No – I have adequate time and availability in my schedule to do an internship (a
      minimum of 10 hours within Monday-Friday, 8:00-5:00 time frame).
    • Yes/No – I have completed any academic prerequisites specific to my program of study.
    • Yes/No – I will be registered for course credit during the term in which I am completing
      the internship experience.
    • Yes/No – I am initiating the work and placement for an internship at least by mid-term of
      the term before the desired internship term.

If you answered YES to all the above, you might be ready to get started! The Polk State internship coordinator will assist you with identifying and being selected for an internship and will be your Polk State liaison while you are on the internship. Read on for how to get started!

Your first steps are

    1. Review the Internship Handbook to ensure you are ready for an internship.
    2. Enroll in the appropriate internship course within your program of study. Make sure you have discussed this with the course instructor and your program director. Note: there may be additional materials and procedures required for your course.
    3. Develop a resume – please use recommendations found on the resume page on this site to guide you with resume writing. Contact the internship coordinator for additional assistance.
    4. Complete an Intern Intake form so the internship coordinator knows your availability and career interests. Enroll at https://joinhandshake.com/ using your MyPolk email address to access information that will assist you along your career path.
    5. Submit your resume and Intern Intake form to the Internship Coordinator & Experiential Learning, Matina Wagner at mwagner@polk.edu. Make an appointment with the internship coordinator to discuss your interests and career plans.

Still, thinking about it? Speak with your academic advisor, program director, career development services coordinator, and/or the internship coordinator if you need assistance. There are also links on this site that provide food for thought on how career-based experiences can help you advance your career plans.

Stephanie Benton is the coordinator for the Lakeland campus, Airside Center, and Clear Springs Advanced Technology Center. If you have any questions, please email Stephanie at sbenton@polk.edu.

Jeannette Grullon is the coordinator for the Winter Haven Campus. If you have any questions, please e-mail Jeannette at jgrullon@polk.edu.