Internships are often an integral process in which a student satisfies both credits toward his or her major and deepens applicable knowledge toward a subject of study. Yet some majors require internships to graduate and others do not.
Majors that require internships are mostly found within fields where an interactive real-life experience is seen as beneficiary such as the study of language, international business, communications and radio-TV-film, to name a few. Majors such as economics, engineering, history, biology, political science and theatre do not require an internship.
Authorities claim majors that do not require an internship for credit accomplish a lot of beneficiary work within the classroom setting. For example, some studies such as nursing already have a simulation lab on campus to help students prepare for the professional world.
The explanation is that subjects are considerably more “hands-on” within the campus environment already, said Robert Pierce, a Cal State Fullerton office coordinator at the Center for Internships and Community Engagement (CICE). Many of these classes already provide applicable information to their respective majors and an internship is simply a suggested personal choice to help only further demonstrate those skills.
Pierce said the reason behind internships not being necessary for some majors is entirely up to “faculty discretion.” No matter the case though, an internship is still seen as something highly valuable, especially through the eyes of CICE.
“We encourage all disciplines to offer internships… We strongly advocate internships and particularly right now both from an employer perspective and from a student perspective, internships are advantageous,” said Pierce.
The matter of taking an internship is not only about credits, it is about getting ready for the job market and gaining experience as well. Pierce said the Career Center invests a lot of time putting on job fairs to help raise student interaction and interest.
Many in the job market use internships as a means to “test prospective future employees,” Pierce said, and those who are really ready to take on a paying job will give reassurance to the company of their skills.
“(Employers) want to be sure these days that they are hiring the right person, money is tight so they want to cut down on the training costs,” Pierce said. “They use (internships) as a way to do that.”
Although some would rather have their own personal choice towards whether or not they engage in an internship, many CSUF students who have had an internship have noted its importance.
James Lien, 22, an illustration major, noted his time at Nickelodeon Animation Studios to be beneficial in “working (with) professionals in the field,” and important in having that firsthand experience.
“The internship (taught) me things that the classroom could not provide, such as the interaction with other co-workers and just seeing the actual [job] positions that were available,” said Lien.
Garrett Eves, 22, an animation major, posed a question and asked how can one replace first-hand experience with a classroom simulation.
“(An internship is) far above all else, the best way to get your foot in the door,” said Eves. “(It) can be exactly what (a student) needs to wake them up and help find their path.”
To some students, an internship might seem like a beneficial opportunity to be seized and a defining realization of one’s career path.
Saish Kotecha, 21, an advertising major, has already taken an internship on his own time outside of school, despite not being providing credit toward his major. In Kotecha’s case, his extracurricular internship led to an employment opportunity.
“(I had) hands on experience with tasks I had to complete and problem solve within the work environment,” said Kotecha. “(My) internships helped me gain a job at the radio station (at CSUF), which I’m very grateful for.”