Internship FAQs

An internship is a form of experiential learning that integrates knowledge and theory learned in the classroom with practical application and skills developed 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.

Source: National Association of Colleges & Employers (NACE)

For more information about internships, please review the questions & answers below.

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  • What are the benefits of an internship?

    Internships provide students with high-quality career-related work experience prior to graduation. Students can develop skills either technical, inter-personal, or intra-personal that will help them to become competitive candidates when applying for jobs after graduation. Internships will help students expand their professional network, apply knowledge and theories from the classroom to a professional workplace, and develop field experience in their major of study.

  • What is a Micro-Internship?

    Micro-Internships are short-term, paid, professional assignments that are similar to those given to new hires or interns. These projects enable college students, graduate students, and recent college graduates to demonstrate skills, explore career paths, and build their networks as they seek the right full-time role. Unlike traditional internships, Micro-Internships can take place year-round, typically range from 5 to 40 hours of work, and projects are due between one week and one month after kick-off. Micro-Internships are used by companies spanning from those in the Fortune 100 to emerging start-ups and go across departments including sales, marketing, technology, HR, and finance. (

  • My internship supervisor is offering me to receive academic credit for my internship, how do I go about this process?

    Students will need to enroll in the Toppel Internship Program (TIP) to obtain credit for your internship. To be enrolled in the program they will have to fill out a learning contract which can be found on Toppel's website.

    TIP is a free program for students to gain academic credit for a paid or unpaid internship experience. It is a one-credit notation that will be visible on University of Miami transcripts. Please note, the one credit does not count towards a student’s graduation credit requirements. 

  • How do I find an internship?

    Students can find paid or unpaid internships through Handshake, LinkedIn, and other online platforms as well as by attending career fairs and networking events conducted by the Toppel Career Center and the University of Miami. Students may also receive assistance in finding internships by meeting with a career coach at the Toppel Career Center who can provide recommendations and strategies. Students should also consider reaching out to friends, family, advisors, and professors to find internships, utilizing their personal networks to find opportunities. 

  • When is a good time to start looking for an internship?

    Students should start searching for internships at least one semester prior to the desired start of the internship. In certain industries, the timeline to begin may be even earlier. The important thing is for students to give themselves enough time to apply for opportunities and reach out to their networking contacts. Many students start completing internships the summer after their freshman year which means they may be applying for opportunities already in their first semesters of college. 

  • What requirements do I need to complete to obtain academic credit for completing an internship?

    In order for students to gain academic credit as part of the Toppel Internship Program, they will be responsible for the following assignments as part of the University of Miami Internships (UMI) course: 

    • Complete a learning contract before starting the internship
    • Submit a job description for the internship
    • Develop goals with their internship supervisor and submit a signed Toppel Internship Goals Agreement form 
    • Add your internship experience to your Handshake profile
    • Complete an employer and self-assessment using the Career Readiness Report
    • Complete a Final Reflection Project at the conclusion of the semester

    Please note, some academic departments offer academic credit for internships that can count toward graduation requirements. Speak with your program director or an academic advisor in advance to see if this is an option available to you. More information can be found here.

  • What is the duration of an internship?

    Internships can usually be either a semester or multiple consecutive semesters throughout the academic year, including the summer, depending on your employer.   

    If students wish to extend their internship for another semester as part of the Toppel Internship Program (TIP), they must submit a new learning contract. 

    Please note, for international students, CPT needs to be authorized every semester if they would like to participate for more than one semester in an internship.  

  • How many hours per week will I spend interning?

    Students can engage in either part-time or full-time internships. 

    Part-time internships are anything less than 20 hours per week during the academic year (fall and spring semesters). We do not recommend interning for more than 20 hours if you are taking a full course load.

    Full-time internships are typically 40 hours per week and are only available during the summer semester. 

  • What if I am an international student who wants to pursue an internship?

    International students on F-1 or J-1 visas have specific rules to follow when pursuing an internship. Students need a Curricular Practical Training (CPT) authorization in order to participate in any internship (paid or unpaid). CPT is issued per semester. Students cannot work more than 20 hours a week during the academic year (Fall and Spring semesters) and cannot work more than 40 hours a week during the Summer semester.  

    If a student is offered an internship for more than one semester, CPT will be required for each semester. Internships usually start on the first day of the semester and end on the last day of the semester. 

    Please refer to the ISSS Website for more information as to the application and authorization procedure.

  • How can I effectively build relationships and immerse myself in the company during an internship?

    • Suggest regular 1:1 check-in with supervisor(s)
    • Make an extra effort to check in with other colleagues
    • Offer your assistance and expertise when appropriate
    • Speak up and be heard
    • Express your creativity skills
    • Participate in social events

  • What other resources can I utilize if I have yet to secure an internship?