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University of Colorado Denver

Experiential Learning Center
 

Experiential Learning Center

Get Ready to Apply


Lucas Salg
Lucas Salg, Denver Office of the Medical Examiner

Finding an opportunity that interests you is half the battle. Now you have to show the employer that you are the right person for the job! Most employers require that you send a resume and cover letter. A well written resume and cover letter will increase your chances of being invited to an interview. We have provided tips and samples below to help you prepare.

There are several things to think about before you apply for your internship

Reflect on what you hope to achieve with an internship, the skills you want to develop, and the training you want to receive. Ask yourself:

  • What kind of responsibilities would I like to have?
  • What are me specific career interests?
  • What do I hope to learn?
  • How much time do I have to devote to an internship?
  • Where do I want to do an internship— Denver area, out of state, international? Why?
  • What do you have to offer an employer?
    • Skills (writing, research, etc.)
    • Knowledge related to the type of internship
    • Relevant work and volunteer experiences
    • Extracurricular activities

As internships become increasingly competitive, it is important for you to have a strong set of job search skills. Most employers require a resume and cover letter to be considered for an interview

 
Resumes
Cover Letters
Follow Up

Be prepared before the interview. Identify your strengths, anticipate questions, and practice your answers to increase your interview confidence.

Interview Preparation

  • Some internship interviews will be conducted by phone while others are face-to-face
  • Explain why you want the internship and emphasize what you can contribute to the organization
  • Be enthusiastic, interested and able to express how this internship fits with your academic path and career goals
  • Write thank you letters to employers with whom you interviewed, even if you are not chosen for the position
  • Write follow-up letters of acceptance and refusal

Internship Interview Questions

Just like with any job search, the more you prepare the more likely you will be offered the position. Review the questions below and practice your answers

  • Tell me a little about yourself.
  • What is your major and why did you choose it?
  • Why are you interested in this internship?
  • What do you hope to gain from this experience?
  • Why did you choose our organization over others?
  • How does this internship reflect your academic and career goals?
  • What are your greatest strengths and biggest weaknesses?
  • What date would you be able to start? What date would you have to terminate the position?
  • What days and time are you available? How many hours a week can you work?
  • How would you handle conflicts between your school schedule and this internship?
  • Do you have any questions for me?

Questions To Ask In an Internship Interview

  • What skills will I gain from this internship?
  • What can I expect to learn?
  • What types of projects will I be working on?
  • How will most of my time be spent?
  • Have you ever had an intern student before?
  • What are your expectations of me?

Also develop your interviewing skills by utilizing the services offered by the Career Center.

Steps for International Students Seeking Internships

By applying to the internship program, you are opening the door to real-world experience that is invaluable when applying for jobs in your specific field. Employers are looking for graduates with on-the-job experience and an internship is one of the best ways to get that experience.

  1. Begin by attending a mandatory Work Clinic (Information Session) through the Office of International Affairs (OIA) located at 1380 Lawrence Street. Call (303) 315-2230 for clinic dates and times. The work clinic is mandatory for ALL international students wanting a PAID internship. International students with ONLY academic credit internships DO NOT need prior approval from the OIA.
  2. After you’ve completed the Work Clinic, request that OIA fax an Eligibility Form to the Experiential Learning Center (ELC) (located in Tivoli 260).

    NOTE: The faxed form is not CPT authorization - It alerts your Internship Advisor that you have F-1 status and have met immigration requirements and studied 2 semesters in the USA (verified by OIA prior to approving students for CPT).

  3. All students seeking internships must make an appointment with their Experiential Learning Center Internship Advisor and complete the ELC Internship Orientation at (call 303.556.6656 to schedule the appointment).
  4. Prepare your resume. Have it reviewed at the Career Center (Tivoli, 267, Mon-Thurs 11 am – 1 pm & 3 pm - 5 pm – no appointment needed).
  5. Upload your cover letter and resume to InternLink (along with any other internship-specific requested documents)
  6. After your ELC InternLink account has been activated, begin searching and interviewing for internships on InternLink [www.ucdenver.edu/elc]. You may also search for internships through companies and databases not listed on InternLink – your Internship Advisor can assist you with this process and provide you with additional resources.
  7. This step is VERY important: Once you have been offered a job/internship: Request TWO things from your prospective employer:
    • A Letter of Offer from prospective Employer/Intern site (see “forms” on InternLink for requirements and template)
    • Have your employer supervisor read and sign your Learning Agreement – be sure to discuss “Job duties” description and “Learning Objectives” portions. Job duties include your daily tasks and duties as well as skills required; learning objectives are the expected learning outcomes that build on past coursework and deepen discipline-related knowledge. Learning objectives support both your long-term career goals and current academic requirements.
  8. Make another appointment with your ELC Internship Advisor. Bring to that appointment Both the completed, original Letter of Offer as well as your completed Learning Agreement and signed by all necessary parties. If everything is in order, your ELC Internship Advisor will provide the final signature and a recommendation form for you to take back to the Office of International Affairs located at 1380 Lawrence Street.
  9. Take the original Letter of Offer AND the letter from your Internship Advisor to the Office of International Affairs. It takes 2-4 business days to be issued your new I-20 form that shows your CPT authorization on page 3. Show page 3 to your employer as proof of final CPT authorization. You are only allowed to work within the dates listed on page 3 of your I-20 and may work ONLY for that specific employer. Pay careful attention to those dates. CPT is only authorized for ONE semester at a time.

    NOTE: Your CPT is valid ONLY during the semester listed on your I-20. If you want to continue paid employment, each semester, OIA requires that you renew your CPT paperwork by turning in proper documents. It takes 2-4 business days after your I-20 request to be issued a new I-20. After the first internship ends, students need to reapply for CPT authorization each term from the OIA by working with their Experiential Learning Center Internship Advisor and bringing the following completed documents to the OIA:

    • Original Letter of offer from the organization showing dates they want CPT/will be working
    • Signed Internship Advisor Recommendation Form from the Experiential Learning Center – Tivoli 260

The Experiential Learning Center is committed to providing opportunities for students to achieve real-world experience through internships, service learning, cooperative education, and student research.

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