Harnessing the Power of an Internship

By: Jade Sobczak, Health Care & Science Career Community Advisor

An internship is the perfect opportunity to learn valuable skills and to begin building a vast professional network.

As many of you continue to search for, and even score, the perfect summer opportunities, you’re coming into the Career Center looking for advice. The advice you’re seeking varies, but the sentiment is the same: you want to know the secret to standing out.

The bad news is that there is no secret. The good news is that while each internship is completely unique, there is always one common factor – you. And you have the ability to control so much of your experience.

So while there isn’t a one-size-fits-all piece of advice, start by showing up and by being true to yourself. Remember, a positive attitude goes a long way.

And while you’re at it…

  • Take some risks, and if you’re gutsy enough, take plenty of them.
  • Seek a balance between hustle and rest and strive to be compassionate about both.
  • Stay in touch once it’s all said and done.
  • Think of failure as a positive thing. Learn from your mistakes and fail smarter next time.
  • Do work that you love and nudge those around you to do the same.
  • Be persistent in your search!
  • Keep in mind that sometimes done is better than perfect.
  • Break out of your comfort zone and try something that seems a little scary every day.

You only get as much out of your experiences as you put into them, so learn something from everyone around you, and be devoted to your work… ultimately, your success depends on it.

Good luck!

Internship Resources

  • Get your application materials ready by making an appointment with a career community advisor or stopping by our offices (LPC/Loop) for walk-in resume reviews with peer career advisors – no appointment necessary!
  • The Internship Plu$ Program provides $1,200 in financial assistance to eligible undergraduate students working in a quarter-long, unpaid internship while enrolled in a UIP or departmental internship course.
  • UIP’s practical 4-credit courses can help you make the most of your internship experience and fulfill DePaul’s Experiential Learning graduation requirement.
  • There are thousands of internship opportunities for DePaul students and alumni posted on DePaul’s Handshake platform. Check back regularly – new opportunities are posted every day!

Check it Off the List: Experiential Learning Credit

By: Renee Radzom, DePaul University graduate, former University Internship Program (UIP) assistant

As a DePaul undergraduate student, one requirement to graduate is to complete an “Experiential Learning” credit, which is typically (although not required to be) done junior year. There are many questions regarding this requirement, and how you can fulfill it. Here’s some good news: You have a few options. One of those options is to take part in an internship and enroll in a class through the University Internship Program (UIP), which is offered through the Career Center. UIP offers a range of classes that allow you to build your professional skills, develop job search tools, connect real world experiences to future careers, and unpack all the tools you’re learning throughout your internship. Here’s what you need to know about UIP, including the benefits:

Why Jump on the UIP Train: 

  • UIP offers one way for you to fulfill your Experiential Learning requirement in order to graduate
  • UIP is very flexible in that the classes are available every quarter
  • The program helps identify and develop your professional skills
  • Past UIP students have said that they learned how to market themselves and create a professional portfolio, while others have said UIP has helped them figure out what they want in an employer and career

While internships are beneficial for experience and to get hands-on training for a potential career path, the UIP course allows you to think about what transferrable skills you are learning as an intern – things you can take with you to other professions. These skills help you discover the type of company you want to work for and the career that’s right for you, all while completing a requirement to graduate. Talk about win-win! There are also no pre-requisites to take UIP; any undergraduate student can take UIP at any point during their college experience – from freshman to senior year.

UIP Enrollment & Orientation:

In order to enroll in a UIP course, you must first secure an internship for the quarter. The internship must be a 10-week opportunity, or go through the entire quarter that you are taking the UIP class. After securing an internship, you submit a proposal where you list the company, your supervisor’s contact information, and your main responsibilities as an intern. This site also lists the deadlines to submit proposals and for enrollment. Our team will look over your proposal and contact your supervisor to confirm your position. It’s a good idea to give your supervisor a heads-up that a confirmation email is coming his/her way to speed up the process, and to keep it out of spam filters.

While the approval process is underway, it is a great idea to complete the required orientation webinar, which provides a comprehensive overview of the program and UIP course requirements. All UIP orientations are listed on Handshake. Orientations are an hour long and online so they can be completed in the comfort of your home – or anywhere you can get Wi-Fi.

Once the proposal is approved and you’ve completed the orientation webinar, you are eligible to enroll in a UIP course. Hooray! The UIP Team manually enrolls students in the UIP course of their choosing.

UIP Courses:

Once you have completed the orientation and your proposal has been approved, you will be asked to choose your top three choices for classes. UIP offers seven courses to fulfill your Experiential Learning requirement, which are listed below:

  • UIP 250: You, Your Work and the World
  • UIP 251: Finding Your Leadership Potential
  • UIP 252: Creativity as a Change Agent in the Workplace
  • UIP 253: Careers for the Common Good
  • UIP 254: Corporate Social Responsibility
  • UIP 350: Navigating the Changing Workplace
  • UIP 367: Global Perspectives (This class is for Global Brigade students only)

If you’re not quite ready to take on an internship or are unsure of your career path, UIP offers two, 2-credit courses. These courses fit within the tuition package for full-time students that are already taking four, 4-credit classes (or less). UIP 240 & 241 help students explore their career and academic options, decide what field they want to go into, and discover what skills they already possess. The 2-credit classes are offered during autumn, winter, and spring quarters.

If you have any questions or concerns about how to enroll for UIP, how to search for internships, or what class would be a good fit for you, please make an appointment with the Career Center!

DePaul Diaries: Life as a Social Media Intern

By: Renee Radzom, DePaul University graduate, former University Internship Program (UIP) assistant

DePaul Diaries is a day-in-the-life blog series written by DePaul students. The series unveils DePaulians’ experiences as interns in their field of choice. Students share their honest thoughts about their experiences, what they learned as an intern and advice for students who are interested in the same field.

Have you ever wondered who’s behind the scenes on all of those social media accounts for your favorite brands and companies? Have you ever wanted to be the one creating all the funny and captivating posts you see on your timeline? Well, James Breslin, a Digital Cinema and Business Marketing major had the opportunity to be a social media manager during his internship at Facets Multimedia.

HiResJames originally found out about the opportunity to work at Facets during his freshman and sophomore years at DePaul, but finally decided to apply on Handshake this year as a junior. James’ official role was Social Media/Marketing Intern, but he spent a lot of time running the companies’ Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr accounts. He gained valuable experience in the social media world, as he spent much of his time writing copy for the accounts and other advertising initiatives. James said this experience was crucial to honing his practical skills, since, “[he] was given a lot of freedom, allowing [him] to set his own goals and problem solve in ways that worked for [him].”

While James said he really enjoyed his experience as a Facets intern, he was initially hesitant to accept the position because it was unpaid. However, he said, “I felt as though I was getting a good experience out of it, especially working for a nonprofit, and so I never felt as though I was putting in less effort just because I was not getting paid.” James’ experience with Facets shows that while unpaid internships aren’t for everyone, if you can afford to, they are still just as worthwhile.

I felt as though I was getting a good experience out of it, especially working for a nonprofit…

Along with the skills he worked to develop through the internship, James also worked on his professional development through the UIP 250: You, Your Work and the World class. James really enjoyed the class, as it gave him perspective on the professional world and helped him identify and apply the skills from his internship into a professional environment. He also said that the biggest thing he took from the course was the ability to market himself; James said he learned how to do this through a class assignment where he had to create a portfolio of all of the materials he worked on over his DePaul career.

Lastly, James said that the biggest piece of advice he would offer to future interns would be to “have a very positive attitude while working, as it makes all the difference in the world.” He also recommended networking with as many people as possible during an internship so these new connections can help down the line with references/recommendations and other job opportunities.

Want to learn more about DePaul’s University Internship Program? Check it out, here, or send inquiries to UIP@depaul.edu. Need help finding an internship? Visit depaul.joinhandshake.com, or come into DePaul’s Career Center to meet with an advisor.


Finding Your Career Path: UIP 240

By: Renee Radzom, DePaul University graduate, former University Internship Program (UIP) assistant

UIP 240 is a 2-credit course offered by the University Internship Program (UIP) through DePaul. The class is structured to guide students on possible career options and help them explore their interests and major. The class is based on the individual and what he/she is looking to gain from the experience. Amal Saleh, former job fair & events manager at the Career Center, says the UIP 240 class really shaped her experience at DePaul.

Amal took the class as a freshman after a Career Advisor recommended the course to her. She mentioned that one of the benefits of taking the class was that it fit directly into her tuition package of 18 credit hours. Amal also said, “the class assisted me tremendously with identifying my major, career, and how to translate that at networking events.” The course evaluates your personality through assessments like the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), and then helps you translate that into possible career choices and majors. The class is designed to give you the skills and knowledge needed to identify your academic and career path.

The class [UIP 240] assisted me tremendously with identifying my major, career…

Some of these skills may even follow you long after the class. Amal says that she still refers to the “skills card deck” that was presented to her in class in order to prioritize her interests and stay on her career path. She also enjoyed how the class always presented her with assignments that exposed new skills, such as public speaking and networking, which she did not know she possessed. Every day she was surprised by her own interests, and learned how to translate them to help her in her academic work.

Another thing that surprised Amal was that UIP 240 made her realize that her original major was not for her. Amal entered the class as a marketing major, but soon realized that “the major did not reflect [her] interests or passions.” Without this guidance, Amal would never have been given the knowledge to find the major that was right for her. Amal says, “I wouldn’t be where I am today without the assistance and guidance from this class and the professor.”

UIP 240 gives great advice to any student at DePaul who is not 100% sure of what they are interested in. Amal recommends this class to anyone who would like a bit of guidance and advice in translate their interests into a fulfilling major/career. There are so many different takeaways from the class that anyone who takes it is sure to find something they enjoy and will use later on.

Want to learn more about DePaul’s University Internship Program? Check it out, here, or send inquiries to UIP@depaul.edu. Need help finding an internship? Visit depaul.joinhandshake.com, or come into DePaul’s Career Center to meet with an advisor.

Get Real With: @properties

By: Rachel Chessky, DePaul University marketing and economics major ’16

Looking for the right internship can seem like an intimidating task. Sometimes it helps to take a step back and remember where we are; Chicago is filled with numerous companies and organizations looking to hire interns and you never know which one will be the right fit for you. At the University Internship Program (UIP) at DePaul, we strive to help connect students with an internship that best fits their needs and we love to hear when an employer is just as thrilled with the match.

Chicago is filled with numerous companies and organizations looking to hire interns…

@properties, one of the top 25 residential brokers in the U.S. and the #1 real estate brokerage in Chicago by market share, recently reached out to us to share their excellent experience with a DePaul intern.

Real Estate Broker & Loan Officer Robert Adolfson, who focuses on the Lincoln Park community, shared that the internship program provided “training and mentorship customized to each individual’s ambitions along with their skill sets – all within the profession.” He went on to say that the internship was “highly interactive and practical.” Due to this customization, interns were able to grow and cultivate new skills that are directly applicable to their chosen career path.

Thinking of DePaul interns, he noted:

“They are savvy; polished and very open to mentoring. More importantly, there is an excitement that comes out with their initiative and desire to want to learn about the professional working world.”

DePaul interns have come to stand out in the professional world due to this eagerness to learn more mentality instilled in the classroom.

DePaul students are excited to develop their abilities and passionate about their work, leading professionals across a wide array of industries to think very highly of DePaul. Having this outlook makes an intern more appealing to employers as they know their efforts to train you are being appreciated. Adolfson even went on to say that he “enjoys bringing a real-world practicum to the learned classroom skills.”

Having an internship where you are able to grow and your employer is invested in your growth is the essence of a great internship. Settling for an internship that is simply another checkmark for the resume does not inspire passion. UIP encourages students to search for those opportunities they will be able to learn from.

Inspired and interested in finding a job or internship in the real estate industry? Check out Handshake for new career listings!

If you are looking for that perfect internship and want to know how to receive credit for it, visit our internship advisor, Alisha Pharr, to learn more.