Providing Externships


An externship helps humanities majors learn about how their skills connect to the needs of the workplace while exploring a potential career path.


During an externship, students come to your place of work for part of a day. Their specific activities will vary depending on the organization, but generally include

  • a tour of the workplace,

  • an overview of what your organization does and the variety of job functions it comprises,

  • an informational interview with you (or another designated externship mentor) and time to talk to others in your organization.

  • (if feasible) an experiential activity: drafting a document, listening in on a client call, attending a meeting.

  • (depending on timing) an opportunity to socialize informally over coffee or lunch.

We generally offer externships over the winter or spring break (which is May 16 to 20 in 2020).

To offer an externship:

  1. Identify the date or dates on which you would be able to host a student.

  2. Decide whether you want to host one or multiple students, and whether you would like to restrict the opportunity to particular years (for examples, juniors and seniors only).

  3. Coordinate with others in your organization to plan the scope of the job shadow experience thinking about how to give students exposure to various parts of your organization.

  4. Organize a schedule of events. Example.

  5. If appropriate, inform your supervisor, clients, HR department, or others that a student will be spending time in your workplace.

  6. If a different format would better fit your organization (e.g., a weekend externship, or a multi-day or project-based experience), please feel free to suggest it — we’re happy to work with you to create opportunities for our students.

  7. Contact Kirstin Wilcox (kwilcox@illinois.edu; 217/300-4305).

Please feel free to contact us if you have questions!