Is Completing an Optional Internship Right for Me?

Are you looking to gain experience in a new area or field?  If you are a Walden student who does not have a field experience component as a part of your academic program, completing an optional internship course provides valuable opportunities to cultivate new skills, apply academic knowledge in a real-world setting, add new accomplishments to your resume, and build connections with professionals in your field.  If you are wondering if one of Walden University’s optional internship courses may be right for you, the following common Questions and Answers can get you started:

Q: What optional internship courses are offered through Walden University’s Career Planning and Development department?

A: Our department offers for-credit (IDST 4003) and non-credit (CAEX 3500) course options for undergraduate students and non-credit (CAEX 6500/CAEX 6501) course options for master’s and doctoral students.  Students complete their internship hours while taking one of these courses.  For additional course details and requirements, visit the Volunteering and Optional Internships page.

Q: How do I locate an internship site?
A: We recommend taking a proactive approach by reaching out to organizations you are most interested in and inquiring about their internship opportunities.  Consider what academic knowledge you would like to apply in a real-world setting and what you would like to learn during your internship.  Watch the webinar recording, Gain Experience Through Internships, to learn how to locate an optional internship site and register for an optional internship course.

Q: What tasks can I perform during my optional internship? 
A: Acceptable tasks may include shadowing or observing staff, referring clients to resources, organizing community activities or events, educating others, and coordinating activities.  Visit the Volunteering and Optional Internships page for a more detailed list of acceptable (and unacceptable) tasks.  On this page, you will also find the Optional Internship Stories button with examples of projects that other Walden students have completed as a part of their optional internship experience.

Q: What is the process of registering for an optional internship course?
A: After reviewing the resources above and locating a potential internship site, the next step is to email our staff at . We will then send you more information and a form to get the process started.

Q: What if I need additional support?
We are here to answer your questions about optional internship courses and invite you to reach out to us at .  For additional assistance, we invite you to schedule a career advising appointment via phone or Zoom (Important: Select “Dina Bergren” as your career advisor and “Internships” as your primary reason for the appointment).

In summary, if you do not have a field experience component as a part of your academic program, consider completing an optional internship course.  Make a positive contribution to an organization, meet new people, and apply your knowledge to make a difference.  Get started today!

Written by Dina Bergren, Associate Director, Department of Career Planning and Development