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Northwest Missouri State University


What Is An Internship?

An internship is a form of experiential learning that integrates knowledge and theory learned in the classroom with practical application and skills development in a professional setting. Internships give students the opportunity to gain valuable applied experience and make connections in professional fields they are considering for career paths; and give employers the opportunity to guide and evaluate talent. 

Note: A Northwest Academic Credit Internship is a guided work experience in a professional field with an approved employer or organization for which a student earns academic credit. Several Northwest majors require an academic internship as a part of their curriculum.  Other students may also complete an academic internship as an elective course.  

For information on intern rights regarding sexual harassment, violence and discrimination visit the Intern Resource Network.

Disclaimer: Avoiding fraudulent job postings

Career Services makes every effort to check the validity and accuracy of employers and job/internship postings on Hire A Bearcat, however we cannot guarantee that every employer or posting is legitimate. Candidates are urged to thoroughly review postings and use caution and common sense when applying. Do not disclose social security numbers, credit card information, or bank account numbers to prospective employers. Do not agree to have funds or paychecks direct deposited into any of your accounts by a new employer – you should know them first. (Most employers give the option of direct deposit or a paycheck, and make these arrangements during your first day or week of actual employment, on site – not before.)

Please contact Career Services if you have any concerns or questions about a particular job listing or employer.


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Why do an internship?

Internships are a great way to gain real-world work experiences and test-drive a potential career while building a marketable resume.

Internships can also help you to:

  • Network with professionals
  • Develop and enhance your professional skills
  • Get more job offers
  • Find a job more quickly after graduation
  • Acquire a higher salary in your first permanent job
  • Focus or confirm your career goals

Internships may be integrated with a regular classroom schedule, completed during a semester away from the classroom, or during a summer break. They may be paid or unpaid experiences.

How to Find an Internship Event

This event will help you clarify your goals and organize a search strategy that meets your needs. Find a date that best works for you on the How to Find an Internship Event page.

How To Begin Your Internship Search

Explore your career interests and clarify your goals –
  What are you looking for in an internship experience?

  • Don’t know or need to brainstorm? 

See this website for: What can I do with this major?

 Narrow down your criteria:

  • What type of experience would add value to your resume?  Choose 2 or 3 targets, whether they are geographic, by industry, or type of company.
  • What about housing, and transportation?  What kind of budget will you need?
  • Are you required to complete an academic internship for your degree?  Or, will you be enrolling in an academic internship as an elective?
  • Meet with your advisor to determine requirements, procedures, and suggestions.

Create your resume.

  • Look for resources and samples on our website.
  • Any of our staff can assist you with questions, concerns, and format suggestions.

Be strategic! Organize and begin your search:

  • 60-80% of internships are found through a connection to someone else so “networking” is big! Make a list of those that might be able to help – friends, family, and faculty.  People are key; build and utilize your network. What about professional associations for your field?
  • Research your areas of interest through company websites, online internship databases, and social media.
  • Allocate part of each week for research, correspondence and follow up.  Stick with it.
  • Keep good records of names, addresses, events, etc.  Use a calendar or planner as needed.

 Always check for application deadlines.

Where can I look? – Career Services offers outstanding resources including Hire A Bearcat, an online recruiting system.  Complete your Hire A Bearcat profile on-line and upload your resume.  See internships, jobs, interviews and events.  Check out the advantages – all for free!

Lists of past internships, books, and magazines plus annual events connecting you with employers – Career Days, and “Mock” Interview Days are available through Career Services.  Look at company, employment, other universities’ career related, and Chamber of Commerce websites for the cities of your choice.

Use your favorite search engine and surf the Web:  Use a search criterion that pairs “what” you are looking for with “where”.  Example:  ‘advertising agencies in (or and) Boston’.  Use the Web wisely.

Make Contact – Write polite and professional cover letters.  Correspondence and applications should be sent in the manner that an employer has requested – snail mail, email, web, etc.

Email etiquette – Be sure to use correct business form, capitalization; proofread and spellcheck all correspondence with employers. 

Persistence and Follow-up – Follow up each letter or contact with a phone call or email.  This increases your success, but can be frustrating when employers are not available to speak with you.  Follow-up within 2 weeks. Thank employers for their time and consideration.

Always be sure to prepare for interviews – Read/research the company and industry.  Participate in Mock Interview Days and practice your interview skills.  Consult our website, videos, and handouts.

HAB Internship Listings

Employers throughout the Midwest and the nation send notice of their internships to Career Services. This information is posted in Hire A Bearcat which is accessible to you via this website. Information can be sorted by state, country, and job target.

We recommend that you complete the online registration process in Hire A Bearcat in order to take full advantage of that information and our services. Once you have completed this process, you will have full access to all the benefits of Hire A Bearcat, you may sign up for on campus interviews, Mock Interview Days and be included in resume referrals.

Resume Referrals: employers frequently contact Career Services looking for qualified candidates. We query Hire A Bearcat for candidates that match the employer's criteria and forward the applicable resumes to the employer. Employers follow up directly with candidates. Students must complete a profile and upload a resume to be included in this service. 

Internship Search Assistance

Feel free to pop in Monday - Friday from 9 AM - 4 PM to visit with a member of our team or, reach out to us at or 660.562.1250.

Online Internship Resources

Academic Credit Internships at Northwest

This type of internship includes an academic component along with the
work experience.

Generally speaking, an academic credit internship means that:

  • Northwest is a partner in your internship experience and a faculty member will be supervising your experience.
  • You enroll in a course at Northwest representing this kind of experience.
  • You pay tuition for those academic hours.
  • You complete an online approval process monitored by faculty and Career Services that includes the submittal of your internship site and personal contact information.
  • You may have periodic assignments to reinforce your internship learning.
  • The employer is asked to sign a simple learning agreement with you.
  • The employer will return an evaluation of your work to the faculty.
  • You generally complete the course with a term paper, project or presentation according to your faculty supervisor's specifications.
  • Requirements vary by Northwest academic advisor. Discuss details with your advisor.

Recent Amendments to the U.S. Higher Education Act of 1965 require Northwest to be legally authorized in a state where practical experience activities such as internships, clinical or field experiences are provided.  Students are encouraged to pursue academic credit internships in SARA states. View more information and a list of SARA states here

For those students seeking academic credit internships in non-participating SARA states, advance notice (6 months) is needed to seek appropriate approval.  We are making efforts to be authorized in additional states.  For more information, contact Career Services (660) 562-1250 and your academic advisor.

Click Here for Academic Credit Internship Instructions.  Note: There is a $35 maximum fee per term per student. (Effective Fall 2015)

Missouri Legislative Internship

Click here for more information!Consider the Legislative Internship at the Missouri State Capitol! This internship begins in early January and ends in mid-May each year. Applications are accepted each fall semester. Open to all majors, each intern is paired with a state representative's or state senator's office where they may analyze, follow and craft legislation, write press releases and track press coverage, assist constituents with issues, attend hearings and work sessions, and have fun meeting and socializing with interns from other colleges/universities from around the state of Missouri.

This internship provides outstanding networking connections and could be a springboard to many career avenues including public relations, law, communications, politics, state government, as well as many others.

Selected intern candidates retain full time Northwest student status while in Jefferson City.  Tuition costs are deducted from a $3,000 stipend. The remainder is available for living expenses while in Jefferson City.

For more information, please click on the logo above. Click here for more information.

Workforce Recruitment Program for College Students With Disabilities (recruitment and interviews each fall semester)

WRP is a recruitment and referral program that connects federal sector employers nationwide with highly motivated college students and recent graduates with disabilities who are eager to prove their abilities in the workplace through summer internships or permanent jobs.

Candidates may be any major, and range from college freshmen to graduate students and must be U.S. citizens.  To be eligible for the WRP, candidates must be current, full-time undergraduate or graduate students with a disability, or have graduated within one year of the release of the database each December.

Interested students should contact Career Services, Student Support Services, or the Talent Development Center for more information.  Please consider participating in this opportunity to sharpen your interview skills and market your abilities to potential employers.  We believe you will be glad you did!

For more information about the program, visit: our WRP page or

International Internships

Northwest Study Abroad International Internships Page

Northwest Policy on US State Department Travel Warnings (Study abroad, internship, independent study, practicum, research abroad, and service learning)

Branching Out: Volunteering & Internships Abroad

Travel Advisories

Northwest Student Internship Photos & Photo Contest

IPC logo

This photo contest is open to all students participating in internships, practicums, field experiences, and directed teaching experiences. Join the fun and see the photos and their descriptions online.  Each semester is a new contest.  A $100 Visa gift card will be awarded contest winner each semester.