Finding the experience that best meets your needs takes time, energy, careful planning and research. Many employers begin to identify their summer employment needs in early January. Start now.
Most students are more interested in the experience, but some want the chance to combine what they're learning in the classroom with the experience. Most departments require students to have upper-class standing before they are eligible to receive academic credit for an internship experience. Note that many UCSB departments do not offer academic credit for internships. Review the "Earning Academic Credit" page for more infomation.
Many great experiences are volunteer or involve a small stipend or lump sum of money. It is possible, however, to negotiate for salary as you become more productive to your employer or agency. In the meantime, will you be able to juggle a part-time job while volunteering for experience?
Programs can be part-time for one quarter, full-time for summer, or year round part-time or full-time commitments. Usually the competition for certain government, national or international opportunities is less during the school year versus the summer when the majority of people look. Most students find the longer they stay with one employer the more responsibility and training they will receive.
Carefully plan the quarter or summer in which you want to begin your first internship experience. Will you have sufficient time to devote to a volunteer or internship experience? How much flexibility will you need to handle your commitments in and outside of class? Freshman and Sophomores usually begin with volunteer, part-time jobs, or on-campus experiences to get the flavor of the type of responsibilities and skills they would like to use in their internship later on.
Do you want to stay in Santa Barbara or will you also consider opportunities in Sacramento, San Diego, Washington D.C., New York, Europe or Japan? It may be possible to do several internships in the local area with proper planning. Many students who start locally and build their portfolio of skills and experiences are then able to market themselves for paid summer internships outside the Santa Barbara area.
Once you have some occupational titles in mind, there’s quite a bit of good information available on the Internet. Two good options are:
In other words, what career areas do you want to know more about? Are you thinking about the fields of advertising, accounting, or personnel administration? You may need to use the Career Resource Room at Career Services to research several areas before you determine your preference. What skills do you enjoy using and which do you want to develop further (i.e., writing, public speaking, computer programming)? Finally, is there a particular type of organization that interests you (i.e., banking, retail, health care)?
The typically UCSB on-campus part-time job is now between $8-10 per hour depending on experience (DOE). Many students expect to earn between $10-12 per hour off-campus for customer service; administrative; and related areas.