The skills that biology majors develop — from critical thinking to laboratory techniques — are valuable in a variety of careers. Through internships, students apply those skills in real-world situations and simultaneously learn what work environments best fit their personality and interests.
Internships allow students to:
- Build experience and a work history
- Practice skills they learned in the classroom
- Gain confidence in their abilities
- Connect with mentors and role models
- Try out their interests without making a long-term commitment
Most internships may be completed for academic credit, whether they are paid or unpaid. In order to be eligible for credit, students must:
- Get approval from the Biology Department chair to enroll in BIO 486: Internship in Biological Science
- Choose an on-campus internship supervisor, either in the Biology Department or the Career Center
- Write and submit a final report about the internship experience
The internship may count for between 0.5 and 2 credits, depending on its length and other factors. The course does not count toward the requirements for a biology major or minor.
Students may find internships with private or public research or diagnostic labs, state or federal agencies, environmental consulting firms, nonprofit environmental groups, and other similar organizations.
Valpo’s Career Center regularly hosts workshops on finding an internship and also offers one-on-one appointments for advising. They can help you with:
- Brainstorming possible internships
- Contacting employers
- Flling out paperwork
- Completing an evaluation
In addition, the University maintains a list of internships on Valpo CONNECT, accessible only to current Valpo students. Students can also visit Indiana INTERN.net, an excellent source of current internship openings around the state.
For even more opportunities, Valpo’s faculty encourages students to look through RIT’s extensive and regularly-updated list of biology internships. Many research opportunities are available through the National Science Foundation’s Research Experience for Undergraduates program.
Biology students are welcome to participate in any of Valpo’s 25 study abroad programs, and many of those opportunities include focused experiential learning opportunities.
Internships are included in 12 of the semester and year-long programs. Most programs include a service learning component