FAQ: Internships at Research Park at the University of Illinois

Darrell Hoemann/The New-Gazette The UI research park at First and St. Mary's streets in Champaign on Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2009.
Darrell Hoemann/The New-Gazette
The UI research park at First and St. Mary’s streets in Champaign on Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2009.

What is Research Park?  From their website: The Research Park at the University of Illinois provides an environment where technology-based businesses can work with faculty and students to take advantage of opportunities for collaborative research and easy access to University labs, equipment and services.”

How far away is it? It’s right next to the State Farm Center. 1 S/N Yellowhopper buses go there from right outside the English Building; 10 Gold and 9 Brown buses go there from the stop in front of the main library on Gregory.

But I’m an humanities major! Shouldn’t I be looking for internships that involve research, speaking a foreign language, writing, or editing? None of these seem to have anything to do with my major. Any job that requires your teamwork, communication, and organizational skills will help you grow professionally. Every industry, including tech and pharmaceuticals, needs employees who can solve problems with words.

Do I need to be enrolled in an internship class to get an internship? No: get the internship first, then figure out if you want a class related to it. Research Park internships are usually paid, so getting academic credit for them through a class isn’t required.

Do I really have a shot at any of these internships? They don’t say they’re looking for my major. Yes. Employers are less interested in what you’re majoring in than what you can do, and when a job involves skills like organization, communication, or teamwork, humanities are always “related majors.”  And  humanities majors do get hired.

I have some of the qualifications they’re looking for but not all. Should I apply anyway? YES. The ideal candidate that employers are looking for rarely exists. If you have most of the desired qualifications, you may well be the close approximation they’ll end up hiring.