How does this program work?

CLS matches first- and second-year students with alumni job shadow supervisors. Students stay three to five days with the alumnus/a and observe him/her at work as a method to not only further understand that career field but how that career fits into one’s life. This program is intended to be a jump off point for students to start exploring their career options and talking with professionals in order to:

  1. clarify their career exploration and interests,
  2. connect their course work to outside the classroom and their future plans, and
  3. connect with and learn from alumni externship mentors.

Who can apply?

First and second-year students have priority, but third and fourth years are welcome to apply as well.

What is an externship?

Externships vary in length, but usually last three to five days. They generally involve shadowing a professional through a normal day's activities and may include informational interviews, a tour of the facility, and participation in actual office projects, etc.

What is the difference between an internship and an externship?

Externships are short-term, offer no pay (though *some* transportation funding is available through the CLS), and are hosted by alumni volunteers in various organizations to help students gain an insider's view of a career field. Internships are longer term (a semester or summer), may involve pay and academic credit, and support an organizations work function.

Why should I do an externship?

An externship is an excellent way to learn about the day-to-day work life of a professional in a career field of your choice. It offers you the chance to "test" a career without the risk of long- term commitment and can help you get your foot in the door for a competitive internship program or job.


Visit our Career and Industry Exploration site on GrinnellShare (secure login required) to see the current host list, application instructions, and deadlines.