The Career Center and staff highly recommend all students think seriously about doing an internship sometime during their educational career at CSU, Chico. We are committed to helping students from all curriculum areas on campus find an internship if they so choose and believe it will benefit them in many ways. We strongly believe, and this is supported by many employers, that students who have experiences such as internships or co-ops will typically be a stronger candidate upon graduation for a fulfilling career or graduate school. An internship will generally help students not only have greater levels of experiences and thus be more marketable, but will also provide a better understanding of career paths which lay ahead. Employers look for students who"stand out" and having intern experiences is often a criteria that is taken very seriously. We generally suggest students do as many internships as possible and start researching the possibilities during their sophomore or junior years. Some departments, however, will only award academic credit if certain prerequisites are completed; we would still encourage students to seek opportunities even if credit is not going to be awarded, as the "work experience" is generally worth the time.
What constitutes an Internship or Co-op?
An internship is a "real world" work experience in a field or industry related to a student's major or career goals which provides them insights and experiences critical to enhance their professional portfolio.
The internship can come in many different forms: part-time during the school year, full-time during summer or breaks, paid or unpaid, for units or simply for valuable experience in a field of interest. Additionally, an internship can be attained using a number of different methods though not limited to; the Chico State Career Center database and / or meeting with a career advisor; career fairs; faculty or department contacts and resources, Internet research, networking on your own, your family contacts or any other way in which you can find an opportunity that will enhance your work experience portfolio.
A Cooperative Educational experience (Co-op) is similar, but is a bit more specific and is generally geared to business, technical, or governmental careers. In general, a co-op is full-time, paid, 6-9 months in length, and an important part of the company or organization's recruitment process.