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Entry by Pat Patterson

If you are convinced that pursuing an internship is a good idea, but you are not sure what type of internship to search for, the following information from the November INTERNnetwork may be helpful.  (If you would like to subscribe to Indiana INTERNnet’s montly e-newsletter, click here.)

Here are a few ways to discover your passions and explore different careers:

Career/personality assessments
Career/personality assessments can help provide a clearer understanding of the type of professional work you may enjoy doing by helping you to identify your interests, motivations, work habits and personality traits. Ask your career services office if it administers them. Three of the most popular are Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), Keirsey Temperament Sorter, and Strong Interest Inventory.

What can I do with a major in …?
If you have decided on your major (or even if you are undecided), check with your career services office to see what alumni with various degrees are doing today. provides several online resources you can use to explore careers associated with specific majors.

Informational interviews
An informational interview is a casual conversation with a person who has an occupation you may like to pursue. The goal is to “pick the individual’s brain” to learn more about his or her career, organization and industry. This is a great way to obtain answers to questions or concerns you have.

Although this is not an internship or job interview, you should consider it an ideal networking opportunity that may lead to one. Conduct research in advance, dress appropriately, bring questions along with your resumé, take notes and – most importantly – listen attentively.

Externships and job shadowing
Externships and job shadowing are two types of experiential learning that take place over a short time (a few days or weeks). Although they are similar to internships in some ways, they offer less of a hands-on working experience and more of a hands-off learning opportunity.

The terms “externship” and “job shadowing” often go hand in hand, but some may refer to an externship as a longer job shadowing experience with some practical work. Each allows students to see what someone in a particular occupation does on a day-to-day basis and what it’s like to work in a certain industry or organization.

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