Ways to explore your options:
- Join a club or organization that relates to your interests. Seek out leadership positions.
- Job shadow or interview a professional in the field.
- Seek a part-time or summer job related to your career goals. Any related experience will be beneficial.
- Develop a plan for doing an internship. Most students do at least one, and many are now doing two or more, depending on the competitiveness of the field in which they will be applying.
- Research graduate school options.
- Consider additional ways you can set yourself apart from other applicants.
It is a form of experiential education where students participate in a period of observation to learn more about a career or occupation. Typically, shadowing experiences are conducted over a few hours, but the duration may vary by career.
For information on shadowing or to locate a professional in a field of choice, please contact Career Services.
Interview or correspondence with a professional working in the area of career interest to learn more about the career or occupation. The interview may take place via phone or email, as well as in person. When shadowing is not permissible in certain professions due to confidentiality and security issues, informational interviewing is an alternative that enables students to learn about the particular profession despite these limitations.
Informational Interview Guide (pdf)
Volunteer work may vary in duration from just a few hours to an entire semester or longer. Often volunteer work can be related to your major and/or career choice. Volunteer work, although altruistic in nature, is also an excellent form of experiential education to clarify career goals as well as gain practical experience for your resume.
In addition, employers tend to view volunteer work positively for several reasons. First, many employers encourage employees to participate in the community and look for a background. Secondly, volunteering one’s time to a particular organization or cause indicates a great interest in the particular activity or population. Finally, employers are looking for particular characteristics or qualities in their employees, and often such qualities may be exemplified through service such as this.
Volunteer Work can be listed as Related Experience on one’s resume, if the community service was related to his/her major and the career objective.
An internship is a form of experiential education where students may work within a field for a period of training to gain practical experience in their field of study. Internships may be completed for academic credit or to gain experience in one’s major. Please contact your faculty advisor to learn more about gaining academic credit for an internship (Internship Agreement Form).
Where should I begin?
You may want to visit the Office of Career Services to clarify your goals, write a resume or learn about internship opportunities. However, Career Services will NOT approve internships or provide sponsorship. Internships require a faculty sponsor. Before starting your internship, you will need to find a faculty member who is willing to sponsor an internship in your field.
How is an internship different from a job?
The key difference is that the student intern is expected to learn NEW skills and techniques while applying him/herself to the assigned tasks. Students may not receive internship credit for their normal job responsibilities.
Do students earn academic credit for internships?
Many internships are completed for academic credit. The University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg expects the student to utilize the experiences by earning credit for what s/he learns. Students receive course credit for demonstrated learning that results from the internship experience and not simply for the time spent on the internship.
- How long does an internship last?
Most internships last for one term. Students are expected to be at the internship location for a minimum of 120 hours for a three credit internship.
- Where can I find an internship?
You can use University and regional resources or find an internship on your own. Some of the most common ways students find internships are:
University & Personal Resources
Cooperative Education – What is it?
Similar to an internship, cooperative education is a form of experiential education which enhances classroom learning with practical experience in one’s field of study. During a “co-op”, a student typically will work full-time (40 hours/week) or part-time (20 hours/week) for more than one term or semester. The experience may/may not be undertaken for academic credit.
Extracurricular Activites & Leadership
Extracurricular activities include involvement in community or academic organizations (professional/student) and sport-related teams. Extracurricular activities, particularly any leadership roles that might have been undertaken, are marketable experiences to employers. They look attractive to employers because they are another way to gain experience and display one’s interest in a particular activity, population, or provide insight into one’s character in general.
Leadership characteristics are seen as extremely beneficial to an employer and are highly transferable skills. Therefore, the employer will note this proven track-record of characteristics. Below are a few examples of leadership programs at the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg, as well as how to document involvement on your transcript:
Emerging Leaders Development Series
The Pitt-Greensburg Emerging Leaders Development Series is a leadership development workshop series. In many ways it is similar to management development programs in corporations, except that the series is tailored specifically to college students leading others in the University community. Emerging Leaders focuses on students exploring their leadership styles and qualities as well as enhancing their leadership skills and techniques.
The workshops are not held in the conventional classroom setting. Experiential learning can best be described as learning through doing. The workshops combine non-traditional and traditional learning tools including guest facilitators. Together the sessions encourage academic, community, and professional leadership. Topics covered in Emerging Leaders include group dynamics, MBTI, conflict management, effective communication, and student activism.
Advanced Leadership Development Series
The Advanced Leadership Development Series is an eight week workshop series designed specially for students who have already completed the Emerging Leaders Development Series and who are leaders in organizations. This series addresses specific topics and challenges that all leaders face when working with groups. Additionally, students participating in the Advanced Leadership Development Series will have the opportunity to teach other students the skills they have learned by presenting workshops at the Pitt-Greensburg Annual Leadership Conference held in during the fall semester.
Topics covered in Advanced Leaders include defining a purpose, facilitating effective meetings, delegation, conflict management, ethics, recognition, and motivation. In this series, the focus is placed on being effective in a leadership position.
Student Involvment Transcript
The Student Involvement Transcript helps students establish strong placement credentials through recording the out-of-classroom experience for students. The Student Involvement Transcript records leadership activities in honorary societies, religious, cultural, social, and athletic groups. Students use this document in conjunction with their academic transcripts, resumes, and career portfolios to provide prospective employers and graduate schools with a multifaceted record of their accomplishments.
Students can add the following to their Student Involvement Transcript:
- Community Service – Any community service that the student has completed inside or outside of the University (volunteer tutoring, Into the Streets)
- Honors, Awards, and Recognition – Any type of campus or University recognition received individually or as part of a group (scholarship recipient, DaVinci Scholar, member of the year award)
- Leadership Activities – A leadership role in any student organization, activity, or program (President of the Spanish Club, Emerging Leaders participant)
- Multicultural/Diversity Experiences – Any multicultural or diverse experience that enriches the learning process, and helps students relate to those who have very different life experiences than their own (study abroad programs, IAV member)
- Participation in Organizations, Programs, or Activities – Includes membership in any organization, activity, or program that requires sustained involvement (SGA, Athletic Team, Academic Village).
How can I get one?
- Interested students should contact the Office of Student Services (219 Chambers) for more information on how to register, update content, and the process to obtain a transcript.
- Students should update their records periodically when they receive a new honor, position, award, etc.
Get Involved: Pitt-Greensburg Activities & Organizations (link)
Gaining international experience in today’s society can be extremely attractive to employers from understanding multi-cultural differences to speaking another language.
With a rapidly changing global society, the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg (Pitt-Greensburg) has made a commitment to helping students gain an international experience as part of their undergraduate education. Students who take advantage of the study abroad experiences at Pitt-Greensburg will immerse themselves in another culture; learning things they could never learn in a traditional classroom setting. Additionally, when students are taken out of their comfort zones the opportunity for self-discovery and personal growth is unmatched. Pitt-Greensburg students with an international experience will become global citizens in today's society. These same students find that their international experiences give them an edge in the job market and a greater understanding of the larger world around them. ~ Pitt-Greensburg Travel Abroad Office
Find out more about international opportunities with Pitt-Greensburg’s Travel Abroad Office and the Study Abroad Office at the University of Pittsburgh.
Part-Time/Summer Work & Experience
There may be several options to your part-time or summer work. These positions may be related or unrelated to your major. Part-time and summer work experiences may help you to:
- Clarify Career Goals – even realizing you do NOT want to do something is helpful in narrowing your choices.
- Gain Experience in Your Field – experience related to your major/career choice will be attractive on a resume.
- Network with Employers – contacts in your field may be helpful in the future for positions and contacts
Below is a list of resources that might help in your search:
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