Tips for Hosting an Externship

Suggested externship activities for workplace externships (with sample itinerary)

  • Speak to a variety of people in different departments at the organization.
  • Hear about the career paths of many people in the organization, including your story.
  • Visit different departments and learn how they work together at the organization.
  • Connect with employees at different career stages, including new grads/entry level, regardless of whether or not their work is similar to your role. This will give the extern a chance to receive advice from professionals with varying perspectives and experiences.
  • Speak with HR representatives about recruiting and hiring practices at the organization.
  • Learn what graduate degrees are applicable to the host’s career.
  • Read/research material relevant to the role, organization, and/or industry; have someone available to answer questions and discuss the content.
  • Complete a work sample or work on short-term projects (not filing or copying).
  • Listen to customer/client calls.
  • Attend meetings.
  • (In person) Tour the workplace.
  • (In person) Stay with a host to learn about work/life balance.

Click here to via Sample Externship Itinerary.

Click here to view Host Tips for Remote Externships.

Please note that most of these activities are suggested for both in-person and virtual externships. In the case of a virtual experience, we ask that hosts schedule a variety of conversations, meetings, calls, and other activities creating a schedule equivalent to approximately two business days (see details below). 

Suggested externship activities for graduate/professional school externships

  • Attend classes with host.
  • Sit in on planning meetings with faculty advisor.
  • Talk with host and other graduate students about their research/focus.
  • Talk with host and other graduate students about their post-graduation plans.
  • Help host with current projects, lab, field, etc.
  • Tour the campus.
  • Learn about graduate admissions process.
  • Stay with host to learn about student/social life balance.

How to prepare your extern

  • Provide your extern with information about your role, organization, and/or industry that they can review in advance of the experience.
  • Give the extern guidelines for dress and other etiquette rules of your workplace.
  • Discuss housing arrangements, if applicable.
  • Provide a detailed itinerary including directions to your workplace and/or virtual meeting details.

How does the Career Center help the externs prepare?

  • All externs attend a mandatory orientation in mid-November.
  • Orientation content includes: basic etiquette, professional behavior and dress, guidelines for communicating with the host, and other program specifics.
  • Many externs currently work with a Career Center counselor allowing them to receive one-on-one guidance and preparation.
  • Externs are instructed to make their initial contact with the host by telephone, if a number has been provided.​