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Career Development

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IDST 287: Career Exploration Internship

General Information

What is a Career Exploration Internship?

An internship provides the opportunity for students to receive valuable insight into their chosen field by working part-time in a business or organization. The intent of this program is to offer students an opportunity to explore job possibilities, especially freshman, sophomores and students in departments without internships. 

Please talk with your faculty advisor and the internship coordinator within your major. If you are eligible to earn credit through your major, that is usually the best choice for you.
  A list of internship coordinators for academic departments.

If you choose not to earn credit through your major department, you may be eligible to earn elective credit through the Career Exploration Internship (IDST 287).  

Forms for IDST 287

IDST 287 Course Outline (Docx)
US Dept of Labor Guidelines for unpaid internships (PDF)
IDST 287 Application
IDST 287 Supervisor Evaluation (Docx)
Learning Objectives Overview (PDF)
IDST 287 Timesheet (XLS)
IDST 287 Self Evaluation (Docx)

Am I eligible?

Most likely you can take IDST 287 if your academic department doesn't offer internships, if you are not yet eligible for your departments internship, or if you want to supplement the departmental internship requirements and opportunities. As long as you're in good academic standing (2.5+ GPA), you're eligible.

Why should I apply?

There are many benefits to a career exploration internship, including meeting important professional contacts, getting a change of pace and equipping yourself for life after college. It also looks good on your resume because it is real experience!

How do I get one?

  1. Visit your advisor or department chair to check requirements for department internships. If you are eligible, get an internship through your department. If not, move to step 2.
  2. Visit the Office of Career Development (Melrose 010), talk to Kristi Mackay, and confirm your eligibility.
  3. Find an internship. You may find one on your own or use the internship resources in the Office of Career Development. Check out the internship database on Cat Connect for positions available to Linfield students. Also, check out our Finding Internships page for online resources to help search for internships.
  4. Download and complete the application for credit (above) and secure written confirmation of your internship.
  5. After you are approved, register for IDST 287 - Career Exploration Internship. 
  6. Begin your internship!

How many credits will I earn?

Credit hours are determined by number of hours worked on-site. They work out as follows.

90 total hours = 2 Credit Hours
135 total hours = 3 Credit Hours
180 total hours = 4 Credit Hours
225 total hours = 5 Credit Hours

How much of my time is this going to take up?

In addition to the hours you work at your internship, there are academic requirements associated with your elective internship, which may include:

  • Set learning objectives for yourself
  • Read The Defining Decade: Why your twenties matter and how to make the most of them NOW, by Meg Jay
  • Write Reflection Papers
  • Complete and submit a site and self evaluation
  • Update your resume to include your internship
  • Present an oral reflection on your internship

Other things you should know...

  • You are responsible for identifying and applying for an internship yourself. Many internships will qualify as Career Exploration but all need to be approved.
  • Receive your internship and get approved for credit before you start your internship hours
  • Internship credit cannot be issued retroactively
  • Ten (10) internship credits may be counted toward your Linfield graduation

For Additional Information Contact:

Kristi Mackay, Linfield College, Office of Career Development Melrose 010, 503-883-2606,