published Sunday, September 18th, 2011

Internship advice for older students

Internships — those on-the-job experiences that help workers get practical experience — aren’t just for traditional college students any more.

Non-traditional students, who are often working adults either switching careers or going back to

college to pursue a new passion and learn new skills, are taking advantage of internships to differentiate themselves from the competition in this challenging job market. Organizations are also reporting the number of internships offered is expected to rise by nearly 7 percent in 2011, according to a National Association of Colleges and Employers survey.

Here are tips for nontraditional students (who don’t fit the typical definition of young adults ages 18 to 22 who live on campus and go to school full time) to consider for pursuing and making the most of any internship, according to Stacia Klasen, experiential learning manager at Colorado Technical.

CONSIDER YOUR OPTIONS:

Many internships last three to six months. However, non-traditional students are often juggling personal and professional responsibilities with their coursework, making it especially challenging to add an internship to their busy schedules. The good news is there are flexible and shorter-term experiential learning options that can also help students build their skills and add to their resume.

TAP INTO YOUR UNIVERSITY’S CAREER CENTER:

Non-traditional students can utilize the professional staff and resources available at their colleges to

help find the right experiential learning opportunity that aligns with their degree program.

DO YOUR RESEARCH:

Conduct an online search, including visiting sites like www.Monster.com and www.idealist.org, a national repository of internships and volunteer opportunities.

— ARAContent

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