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Explore the information below to learn more about academic internships at HCC.

An academic internship is three-way partnership between a student, a faculty sponsor, and a community partner, which links classroom learning with real-world experience in a professional setting.

The main priority of an academic internship is to provide students with a learning experience during which they gain new knowledge by performing tasks, working on projects, completing other on-the-job learning experiences, and through mentoring. They are usually the length of a semester, part-time, and can be paid or unpaid. 

  1. Try out your career choice. Discover if the career you’re considering is right (or wrong) for you.
  2. Apply knowledge and develop skills. Apply what you’re learning in the classroom, and develop professional workplace skills.
  3. Gain job search skills. Create a professional resume, sharpen your interviewing skills, and a practice interacting professionally.
  4. Build a network. Develop a network of professional contacts, mentors, and references.
  5. Increase your marketability. Position yourself for a smoother transition into the workforce.
Academic internship eligibility requirements

Plan ahead! Students must begin the internship process the semester before the internship experience will take place.

The internship process involves
  1. Finding an internship
  2. Matching the student with a faculty sponsor
  3. Preparing for the internship

Students who are interested in an internship for the spring 2020 semester are required to attend an academic internship orientation during the fall 2019 advising period.

Please select one from the following sessions:

October 22, 23, 29 or 30 2 – 3 p.m. MRB 234
November 5 or 6 2 – 3 p.m. KC 418

To help us get to know you, your major, and your interests better, please complete this form.

We look forward to working with you!

Who is the Experiential Learning Coordinator?

The ExL Coordinator is Andrea Picard. Andrea can be reached at, 413.552.2342, or in Marieb 231.

Am I required to complete an academic internship?

Some academic programs have a required internship component. If your program does not, you still have the option to participate, but there are factors to consider. To find out if an internship is right for you, please contact the ExL coordinator.


Start searching and applying for internships.


Yes. Students often ask why they're responsible for finding their own internships. Fair question; here's why:

    • No one knows what you want out of an internship better than you.
    • Only you can decide if an internship is the right fit for you.
    • You know better than anyone else the skills you would like to gain or improve upon and where you want your internship to take you.
    • Finding your own internship demonstrates independence, communications skills, and assertiveness that employers look for in potential interns.
    • When you're the one finding and choosing your internship, you're more likely to be satisfied with the outcome.
    • Most importantly, the internship search process will provide you with skills you'll draw upon when applying for your first real job:
      • Writing resumes and cover letters
      • Getting references or letters of recommendation
      • Learning how to interview successfully, developing and utilizing a network, etc. 

Searching and applying for an internship will prepare you in searching and applying for first professional position, so take advantage of the practice you'll get now! Remember, the ExL coordinator is here to provide support and guidance throughout the internship search process.

When should I start searching for an academic internship?

You need to start the process the semester before you want to begin your internship. Start early and seek out help from a variety of resources. Your plan should include a great resume and cover letter, appropriate follow-up strategies, and good record-keeping. Be prepared, open-minded, flexible, and professional.

What if I know where I want to do my internship?

All academic internship sites must be approved by the Experiential Learning program. Please contact the ExL coordinator for more information.

Can I still get an internship if I have no experience?

Organizations value skills developed through academic work, volunteer experiences, extracurricular activities, and other activities. Not all of these skills are job-specific; some are general, such as communication skills and analytical skills, and can transfer to different settings. Many types of student jobs can demonstrate to organizations that you have been a successful employee. Obtaining an internship is a great way to bridge this gap.

Do I have to pay for an internship?

Yes. As with any credit-bearing course, you register and pay tuition for an academic internship. If you are planning on doing your internship over the summer, you must contact Financial Aid to discuss summer tuition and whether your financial aid will cover your tuition costs.

Am I allowed to take classes while doing an internship?

Students are able to schedule an internship course with other courses up to 18 credits per term. Please seek advice from your faculty sponsor or the ExL coordinator to determine how this may impact your internship.

How many hours will I be expected to work at my internship site?

The number of required field hours will depend on the number of academic credits earned:

# of credits Total hours Hours per week
3 135 9
2 90 6
1 40 3

For creative writing internships, students are expected to spend six hours per week per credit on work stipulated in the project proposal:

# of credits Hours per week
3 18
2 12
1 6

Please contact Dave Champoux at for details regarding creative writing internships.

What if there's a school holiday or a snow day?

As a student intern, you are following the organization's schedule. Therefore, school holidays, vacations, snow days, etc. will not apply to you unless your organization is also closed for that day.

What happens if the experience hasn't turned out to be what I expected?

Every experience is unique, so it depends on your specific situation. The ExL coordinator and your faculty sponsor can advise you through any difficulties you may experience. The sooner you connect with either of them, the better they will be able to assist you.

What happens if I get fired from my internship?

Be proactive and professional at all times to prevent that from happening. If you are fired, depending on the reasons for termination, you may or may not have the opportunity to re-do your internship. Please schedule a meeting to discuss options with the ExL coordinator immediately.

Can I work extra hours each week and finish early?

No. Your experience must match the semester term dates as closely as possible.

What happens if I get injured at the internship site?

Inform your site supervisor right away so they can assess the situation and assist you in receiving proper medical attention. You or your site supervisor should contact the ExL coordinator as soon as possible.

What if I decide to quit my internship?

Before notifying your site supervisor, contact the ExL coordinator and/or your faculty sponsor as soon as possible to discuss your options.

What if my question isn't answered here?

Contact ExL coordinator Andrea Picard at or 413.552.2342.

why an academic internship?

Let Ashley Rivest walk you through the details of the academic internship class.