Summer internship FAQs

It’s a little late in the game, but there’s still time for your student to obtain an internship this summer. Here’s an FAQ we shared with them recently. 

Why do I need an internship? 

An internship provides you with solid work experience that may help you acquire or polish marketable skills and test career options, which will help to position you for future employment and graduate/professional school options. 

Do I get paid for my internship? 

Whether or not you get paid for an internship depends on the internship itself. Some fields rarely pay their interns and some always pay. Academic internships can be paid or unpaid. Whether an internship is paid or not does not dictate the quality of the learning experience, so work with your Faculty Internship Supervisor and career advisor to understand which internships will be the best match for your interests and financial needs. ForesterLink (Lake Forest College’s online job and internship board) includes both paid and unpaid internships. 

Who should I talk to about getting credit for my internship? 

Students interested in a for-credit internship should set up a meeting with their Faculty Internship Supervisor to discuss requirements: 

Communication: Helene DeGross, degross@lakeforest.edu

Business/Finance/Economics: George Seyk, seyk@lakeforest.edu 

Education: Shelley Sherman, sherman@lakeforest.edu 

Social Sciences and Humanities: Julia Fiske, fiske@lakeforest.edu 

Natural Sciences: Lynn Westley, westley@lakeforest.edu 

Psychology: Kathryn Dohrmann, dohrmann@lakeforest.edu 

Why should I earn credit for my internship? 

By registering your internship for academic credit, you are able to obtain support from a skilled Faculty Internship Supervisor to help you translate your classroom experiences into an off-campus work or research experience, as well as help in ensuring that your site provides the learning experience that you expected. You will also obtain access to professional development workshops and activities. Some employers will require students to earn credit in order to intern with their organization. 

You can earn 1-2 credits for an internship and can earn credit for internships anywhere in the world, as long as they meet the guidelines for Lake Forest College internships. Guidelines are available in the internships section of the CAC website and in the college catalog. 

How do I register my internship? 

For-credit internships are offered to students with 15 or more credits; students with fewer than 15 credits may appeal and be granted the ability to earn credit. Contact Lisa Hinkley (hinkley@lakeforest.edu) or your Faculty Internship Supervisor if you want to appeal. 

To register your internship, download the academic internship approval forms from my.lakeforest.edu. You will need the signature of your Faculty Internship Supervisor, academic advisor, and AVP for Career & Professional Development (Lisa Hinkley). International students will also need the signature of the Director of Intercultural Relations. Lisa is the final signature before you take your paperwork to the registrar; you can schedule a 10-minute meeting with Lisa through ForesterLink and can e-mail Lisa if none of the available times match your schedule. 

Non-credit internships are open to students of all years. To discuss non-credit internships, please contact your career advisor in the Career Advancement Center by calling 847-735-5235 or scheduling an appointment online through ForesterLink (www.lakeforest.edu/foresterlink). Not all organizations will host non-credit interns. 

What if I’m not sure about doing a summer or fall internship? 

Talk to your Faculty Internship Supervisor and academic advisor to begin exploring options now and let them know that you are not sure when you plan to do the internship, but want to start learning about the process now. 

Do I have to pay for summer internship credit? 

An academic internship is a course and requires you to pay tuition. If you need financial assistance, please complete the financial aid form on the summer programs website. Although the form may reference Summer Session 1, internship credit is eligible for discount in either summer session. Discounted tuition is available based on financial need. Applications are accepted and decisions are made on a rolling basis until May 1. 

Is there any financial support beyond the tuition discount available for students to complete unpaid internships? 

Yes! There is funding available. You may either apply for a special set of internships at 1 of 6 featured sites, or obtain your own internship and request funding. The featured internships are new internship opportunities in a range of industries that have been made available specifically for Lake Forest students. This year, funding is only available for students interning in the Chicagoland area at a for-profit company. Learn more at: www.lakeforest.edu/careers

Can I live on campus?  

You can apply to live on-campus. Applications are due by April 18th for priority consideration. Due to campus maintenance projects this year, there will be a limited number of rooms available for summer housing. If you have the flexibility to move in during summer session 2, you are more likely to obtain summer housing than if you need to be housed for summer sessions 1 and 2. Summer housing applications are available with the Department of Residence Life in Rosemary House. Residence Life will do its best to accommodate students, but if you have other housing options, you may want to take advantage of them. Usually, there is enough housing to accommodate all students wishing to complete summer internships for credit. 

How do I find an internship? 

- Explore internship options by logging into ForesterLink and talking with your Faculty Internship Supervisor, academic advisor, friends/family, and your CAC career advisor. Visit websites of organizations that interest you. Consider what you want to learn, what kind of experience you’d like to gain, and how much time you can be available. Your Faculty Internship Supervisor will play a particularly important role in your search and the approval of your internship.  

- Draft/update your resume and cover letter – the Career Advancement Center (CAC) Resume Builder can help you get started if you don’t have a resume or want to completely reinvent your resume. The Resume Builder also has a module to help you develop cover letters, networking letters, and thank you letters. 

- Conduct informational meetings with people you might know in your field of interest; see the MyCareerPlan on informational interviewing in the resource library of ForesterLink for ideas on how to do this. 

- Apply to positions. Follow the instructions of your Faculty Internship Supervisor regarding whether to apply through your supervisor or directly to the site, especially in the sciences and psychology. For psychology internships, students are asked not to contact field sites on their own. They should consult with the Psychology Department Faculty Internship Supervisor to arrange a suitable field placement. 

- Complete mock interviews to prepare for your interviews. It’s ideal to have your first mock interview even before you have obtained an invitation to interview. 

- Ask for help from your career advisor and Faculty Internship Supervisor if you are not receiving invitations to interview or offers for positions. There are many sites eager to host Lake Forest College student interns, so you may need to adapt your approach or expand your thoughts on the types of internships you are seeking. 

Do you have more questions? Arrange a time to talk to your Faculty Internship Supervisor, career advisor, or Lisa Hinkley. All are happy to help! If you are not sure who your career advisor is, contact the Career Advancement Center.