The importance of internships and how Dordt can help you find one

In the last few years, even college graduates with respectable GPAs and a good work ethic have had trouble finding a job after graduation. One way to get a heads-up on the application competition is to find an internship before graduating, but students often don’t know where to begin to get one.

According to Dordt’s Career Services, around 30% of Dordt graduates participated in some sort of internship, practicum, job shadowing, or volunteer work related to their major before graduating. Many departments, such as engineering, business, and social work, require some sort of internship or practicum for graduation.

“Internship programs at Dordt are unique—It’s primarily handled through the departments,” said Director of Career Services Chris DeJong. “Even if the department doesn’t offer one regularly, a student could still do an internship and get academic credit.”

To start finding an intership, DeJong suggests first talking to your department internship coordinator, the name of whom is available through Career Services or on’s Career Services section under the Services and Support tab. He also suggests checking out

Students may also find individual internships or programs through their own connections. Before listing these experiences as internships, however, a student must make sure the work criteria meets NACE (National Association of Colleges and Employers) regulation for qualifying as an internship.

Individual internships, or internships not attained through a Dordt department, might not be able to be considered an official internship and might not count for academic credit. In order to be counted for an official Dordt internship, students should check with their department internship coordinator to confirm that it meets learning objectives and includes evaluations, presentations, and supervision.

But even if a student’s internship does not meet these objectives, the work may still be quite valuable when it comes to a future job search. According to DeJong, employers may count these unofficial internships as they would a part-time job in a related area. These work experiences also give students connections within their fields in case future jobs open or students need references.

“In future years, students may be seeing more paid internships hit the market, and unpaid internships may even be subject to legal ramifications if they don’t meet certain requirements,” said DeJong.

Other beneficial experiences to help a student stand out on a resume are programs like Chicago Semester, Licensing (such as EMT or CPR certification), or published work in a related field.

Danielle Richards, Staff Writer

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