About Internships

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Education today can no longer be contained in the four walls of the classroom. While it is true that jobs seek people with experience, the inverse is also true: students increasingly need experience to better understand the nature of real world opportunities, and to know what jobs they want to pursue—whatever the field. Perhaps even more importantly, hands-on, or experiential learning is an invaluable way to get at the richness and complexity of issues and topics university classes cover. The Department of Global Studies is well aware of this, and like our support for study abroad, we greatly encourage our students to pursue the possibilities of experiential learning and internships, either during the summer, during the semester or following graduation.

Internships, paid and unpaid, provide an invaluable opportunity for Global Studies majors to gain a deeper, more in-depth view of the important and complex issues many of our courses touch on. However the term experience is itself extremely broad: some internships look more like research apprenticeships, whereas others involve more day-to-day work, or even service. There is no absolute definition of an internship. At a most basic level one could define it as “hands-on” learning that takes place outside of the classroom.  In general internships do involve working with or for an organization or individual who can help guide you, and /or who requires your work. In contrast to volunteering, one should feel some ownership and personal investment in the process or experience, although service is also a great component. In other words internships are not simply independent research, nor volunteering, work for pay: they should be a combination.

We hope to help facilitate our students’ ability to find appropriate internships as well as the means to support those experiences. At the moment our department has no independent funds to this end, but we are happy to point our students to units on campus that do, and work with you in your grant and proposal writing process. We are also eager to help organize, informally, and eventually more formally means for critically reflecting on the internship experience—as research shows that the best way to integrate experiences into learning is through structured critical reflection.

If you want to make an appointment, please contact Michal Osterweil at osterwei@email.unc.edu, or (919)962-8483.

Remember pursuing an internship should be in line with your passions, interests/educational and professional development. Please do not just contact us asking about all available internships. Not only are there always more than we can keep track of, more importantly, it helps you (and us) to have an idea of the KIND of areas you are interested in. Finally, before coming to us, it would be very smart to do some of your own research ahead of time, on the web and through Career Services databases.

Please see Resources and Links for this and more info.