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As a Liberal Arts student, you have a foundation of strong communication and analytical skills, and it’s up to you where you decide to apply those skills – which industry, which job, etc. What better way to make that decision than by doing multiple internships so you can test out a few different options? 

Academic Credit Information

Chapel Executive Internship Program

Where to Begin

There are many resources to assist with your internship search. Follow the steps below to access Career Enrichment Network and Career Services resources to get your internship search off to a great start!

Step 1: Getting Started

Mention your plans/interest to your academic adviser. He or she can help you with determining the best semester to do an internship and with figuring out how internship credits may meet specific degree requirements. Think about the type of experience you’re interested in and when you’re available. Summer internships are very competitive, so consider a fall or spring internship and discuss the possibility with your adviser.

Step 2: Access Nittany Lion Careers

Step 3: Utilize Other Resources

Don’t confine your search to one resource, since you have so many available to you! Penn State Career Services and sponsoring colleges coordinate a number of career fairs throughout the year. Be sure to research the organizations attending and make a plan for meeting your top three to five potential employers to learn more about them and the opportunities they have available for students with your skills and interests. When seeking a position, think about what you want to do, not what your major is, since the beauty of a Liberal Arts degree is that you have many transferable skills.

Career Services hosts a range of programs throughout the academic year to introduce you to various industries, meet with alumni, etc., so check out their calendar for upcoming events.

The Career Enrichment Network also offers a range of professional development sessions throughout the academic year that are more focused toward liberal arts students, so be sure to check the Events calendar in Nittany Lion Careers to identify opportunities to meet and to interact with potential employers. Participation in alumni networking events, department-based networking events, and other College-sponsored activities can connect you with alumni and employers who may have opportunities for you. Always approach these events as possible networking opportunities – whether with an alumnus/a or a fellow student who may have an interesting lead or opportunity to share with you!

Also, be sure to check in with your academic department, either through your adviser or the Undergraduate Studies office, to ask if there are department-specific resources or contacts you should be aware of. Some departments have internship coordinators who may be able to share suggestions for possible internship sites pertinent to your major.

Step 4: Apply and Interview

Once you’ve uploaded your resume to Nittany Lion Careers and implemented any feedback, you’re ready to start applying for positions. Some organizations require you to apply via their organization web sites, while others will work directly with the Career Enrichment Network or Penn State Career Services to receive resumes and other application materials. Please read the application instructions for each position carefully and ask a Network staff member if you’re unsure about how to apply. In some cases where you must apply via the organization’s web site, you’ll also be asked to “apply” via your Nittany Lion Careers account. This is for tracking purposes, since if we know who has applied to a position, we can have a more productive conversation with the recruitment representative about your candidacy. If we don’t know you applied, then we can’t answer questions or advocate for you!

If you’re contacted for an interview, please contact a Network staff member to notify them and also to ask any questions you may have about the interview process in general.

Please note that there are several other resume and cover letter review options available to Penn State students including Penn State Learning Writing Tutoring.  Career counselors and peer advisers are available at Penn State's Career Services for drop-in and individual career counseling, including resume and cover letter reviews.

Step 5: Academic Credit (optional depending on internship site)

Once you’ve been offered and have accepted a position, it’s time to decide about academic credit. Some internship opportunities require students to earn academic credit, while for others, academic credit is optional. Each department and major has different requirements regarding how internship credits can be used toward degree requirements, so it's a good idea to talk with your academic adviser to decide how many credits would be appropriate for your experience. To earn academic credit, you must complete the required academic assignments, in addition to performing your assigned internship duties.

Students in the College of the Liberal Arts have some flexibility regarding their internship credits. In cases where the internship is very closely related to your academic major, you should check with your departments' internship coordinator to discuss your assignment and registration for the department-based internship course.

If your internship does not meet the requirements for earning credit through your specific department, you may request registration for the College (non-department specific) internship course section of LA 495. Essentially, academic credit is available for all legitimate internships that we consider to have a significant and valuable career and educational component.

*NOTE: Per university guidelines, students taking an internship for academic credit must be registered for the course during the semester in which the course requirements are completed and the grade must be assigned at the end of that semester. See policy here.

Step 6: Report your internship

Tell us about your internship, so we can brag about all of the cool experiences Liberal Arts students are having. By reporting your internship information and sharing your internship experience, you are helping other Liberal Arts majors explore all available enrichment options. Fill out the short questionnaire here.

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