Internships provide hands-on experience in an area that interests you. Students are responsible for locating internships, which are of a pre-professional nature. Students can arrange internships, job shadowing, or volunteer work at the University of Pittsburgh or elsewhere for pay, academic credit, or on a voluntary basis. In the past, our students have held internships at the Allegheny County Coroner's Office, UPMC, the Pittsburgh Zoo, the Carnegie Museum, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, and Pitt’s Pathology Department. Carefully consider how much time you can give to the internship so you can plan the work around your academic, work, and extracurricular obligations. Arts & Sciences Guidelines
Explore Your Options
Explore internship opportunities a semester in advance to avoid missing deadlines or positions filling up.
Visit the Biological Sciences Department website, read the Bio. Sci. Advising bulletin board/binders, contact a Biological Sciences Advisor, search internships on Pitt's Future Links website, or visit the University of Pittsburgh Career Development Office.
Use the internet, libraries, and organization websites to look up companies, hospitals, clinics, and organizations related to your academic and career interests. Locate the company’s contact information and when you call, ask to speak with the volunteer coordinator.
Contact Employers Who Interest You
When speaking with the employer, explain your objectives and the type of experience you are looking for (i.e. patient contact, opportunity to shadow a professional). If you email the employer, make sure your e-mail clearly states who you are and why you are interested in interning with the company. Be sure to include contact information such as a telephone number and/or e-mail address.
If you do not hear back from one particular employer, do not be discouraged as many companies have busy schedules. Follow up with a second email or phone call if you fail to get a response after 5-7 days.
You may request a meeting with the employer to talk about potential internship opportunities and to discuss your availability. If the employer requires liability coverage for your internship with the company, we can look in to any options the University of Pittsburgh may recommend.
Prepare a Resume or a Personal Statement
Employers realize students may not have the experience necessary to generate a meaningful resume/C.V. For such students, a statement including relevant personal information and scientific interest is sufficient. Some employers may also request a copy of your transcript.
Prepare to Meet with the Employer
Before meeting with the employer, research more information about the company. Review company websites and related research to become familiar with what the company does. Expectations and responsibilities for interns/volunteers may differ based on the position. Ask questions to ensure that the company is a good fit for you. Be professional, on time, and show an interest in the company’s work.
Questions to consider:
How many hours do undergraduates usually work?
Are hours flexible if I have other obligations?
What type or work will I be doing?
Is this internship paid or unpaid?