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.
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.