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Help! Internship Questions.

lbwhite89lbwhite89 Registered User Posts: 17 New Member
I'm a student at the University of South Carolina majoring in Psychology with a minor in Criminal Justice. I'm hoping to be a probation officer after graduation.

I started off at a technical college and so I'm told I'm considered a "sophomore and-a-half" and will officially be a Junior after Fall 2011. However, I won't graduate until Spring of 2014 because of the classes I need to take. If I can get class credit through an internship or if I attend classes during the Summer of 2013, I may graduate in December of 2013. Therefore, Summer of 2012 may be my only Summer off. Therefore, I was thinking about an internship.

I'd like to be a juvenile probation officer, so I'm currently looking into an internship with our Department of Juvenile Justice. They also offer volunteer opportunities.

QUESTION 1: Realistically, how important is an internship? I think DJJ only offers unpaid internships but they do course credit. I'm not sure how that works at my university yet, but I'm interested either way. I know it's good experience, but can it REALLY be the difference between having a job before graduation and being unemployed for 6 months before finding something?

QUESTION 2: Is one internship enough? I'm hoping to be able to get some volunteer hours in with them as well, but I'm not really sure what else I can do. Finding relevant work experience around my school schedule has proven to be impossible, so that's not an option unfortunately. What else can I do?

QUESTION 3: I'm sure it varies greatly, but how do internships normally work? I figure I'll be there full time or close to it, but when do the summer internships normally start and end? I'm getting married the first weekend in May, so I'm really hoping I can start after our short honeymoon.

Post edited by lbwhite89 on

Replies to: Help! Internship Questions.

  • CollegeGirl1027CollegeGirl1027 Registered User Posts: 57 Junior Member
    Hi! Sorry I can't answer your question, but I see you go to university of south carolina, an that's one of the schools I'm most interested in. I'm a junior in hs from virginia. Overall how to you like USC? Are the classes extremely large? Are the dorms nice? Thanks if you can answer :)
  • hj0519hj0519 Registered User Posts: 631 Member
    Internships are definitely really important. It can definitely can be the difference between having a job before graduation and being employed six months after - often you'll get a job offer from your internship, and the experience is really worth it. Even if you don't get an offer from where you interned, any company is most likely going to want someone with a relevant internship and experience over someone without experience in the industry.

    How they work definitely varies a lot. Some places have set programs in place with set start dates and end dates. At my internship I picked my own start and end dates, I just had to have the length be 8-10 weeks. I'm working full time, at least 40 hours a week, but there are plenty of part time interships out there. Many in early June and end sometime in August, depending on the length. The length of the internships I applied for varied from 8 to 12 weeks. It really depends.
  • mrbc2011mrbc2011 Registered User Posts: 100 Junior Member
    In my opinion, internships are really important for two reasons:
    1) Employers are really much more interested in people who've successfully done internships in that particular industry. It means that they're really committed to that field and it means they've already had some training, so they aren't starting from scratch. All else being more or less equal, they'll definitely choose somebody with an internship.
    2) Internships are good for YOU because they can help you figure out if you're in the right place. The first internship I had was cool, but it wasn't wonderful and I learned a lot about the industry (namely that I needed another 8 years of school to really make it) so I changed my mind. Similarly, an internship in my current industry proved to me that this was where I wanted to be. How can you be certain of where you want to work until you've tried it??
This discussion has been closed.