Getting work experience related to your major or field of study can be a great way to apply the skills and techniques you've learned in class in a real work environment and help clarify your career goals. Internships are a great way for current students to gain a competitive edge when it comes to landing a job after graduation. Career Services provides assistance to students seeking major-related work experiences and also administers the Cooperative Education, or "Co-op," Program, which allows undergrads to gain academic elective credit for their semesterly work experiences.
An important thing to understand is that, "experience is experience is experience." Rather than worrying about which type of experience to obtain (or missing opportunities because they aren't exactly aligned to your future career), just do some! The greater the variety, the more well-rounded you will be.
Florida Tech undergraduate students have the option of turning their work or internship experience into academic credit by applying and registering for Co-op at the start of the semester in which they're working (Co-ops cannot be applied for retroactively). Undergraduate Co-ops offer 1, 2, or 3 elective credits per semester based off the quantity of hours worked by the student (full time, or 35+ hours a week, earns 3 credits).
Students are permitted to work full- or part-time any semester, for a single semester, or back-to-back semesters. Students maintain their full-time student status in Fall and Spring by working full-time. Students can continue to work for local companies throughout the school year when their schedules permit.
Co-op at Florida Tech is an optional program and is available for every major, with appropriate departmental approvals.
Download and View Co-op FAQs for Students, July 28
An internship is a major-related work experience offered to active college students. They are usually offered over the duration of one academic semester and can be part-time or full-time, paid or unpaid, and may or may not be for academic credit. A summer job, volunteer experience, or community service position that is related to your field of study could also be considered an internship. The main qualifying factor of any internship is gaining demonstrative experience related to your field of study.
Volunteering is the giving of your time to an organization or a cause and can be a great way to learn more about the cause, prove your commitment and build networks, and identify new opportunities. Volunteering can happen independently or as part of a team, formal program or class, and may be short-term or long-term.
Resume Pro Tip: Don’t forget to track how many hours you volunteer so you can state it on your resume. Data is always eye-catching on a resume, and listing the hours will show your dedication.
Conducting an informational interview is a great way to get information about a field or profession you may be interested in. Watching the video will walk you through preparing for the interview, preparing and asking questions, proper etiquette and appropriate follow up after the informational interview is conducted.
According to the Certification and Accreditation Programs Directory, there are more than 1,600 different certifications currently available. Earning certifications that are relevant to your field might be your ticket to landing a job after graduation. Certification shows that you are serious about your field and competent enough to do the job at hand.
Florida Tech has a great variety of student organizations you can join and participate in. Your goal should be find one or more that interest you. You can often gain experience performing organizational projects. Even better, student organizations are a great place to test and hone your managing and leading skills -- so, don't just join an organization, but strive to be part of its management team.