Externship Program

Dream it. See it. Explore it.

The Center for Careers, Life, and Service's Externship Program is an opportunity for you to be paired with a Grinnell alum for a short-term job shadow and homestay during spring break. The Externship Program is designed to help you: 

  • Clarify your strengths, interests, and values
  • Connect academic coursework to future plans
  • Develop a wider professional network
  • Explore career paths
  • Reflect on intersections of work, life, and civic engagement


Externships generally involve shadowing a professional through a normal day’s activities, but can also include informational interviews, a tour of the facility, and participating in office projects. In comparison, internships take place over a longer time period, may involve pay and/or academic credit, and actively support an organization’s work function. 

All students, regardless of citizenship or visa status, are welcome to apply. However, because of the exploratory nature of this program, first- and second-year student applicants are given priority. Funding is available to students with demonstrated financial need. Visit the CLS’s Career Exploration site on GrinnellShare (secure login required) to see the most recent host list, application instructions, and program deadlines.

Extern Site Locations

2018 United States extern sites include locations in several states.

2018 U.S. Extern Site Locations

2018 extern sites include international locations in Europe and Asia.

2018 International Extern Site Locations


"From the outset, this has been one of the most informative and interesting trips I have ever taken in my life. It would be futile to try and capture each and every moment of the past three days, just because there have been a plethora of events that make the schedule so pleasantly busy that I am happy to report that as I write this, I have only glanced at my phone for the second time in five days."

Sriyash Prajval Kadiyala ’21
Image of Leibman and Martinez.

"After this experience I hope to keep in contact with my host. I feel comfortable coming to him with any questions I have about the field of medicine and I’m sure he would be happy to help me. Perhaps we can also stay connected through chess, a hobby we share. Regardless of what avenue it is through, I plan on keeping this student-mentor relationship alive."

Ray Martinez ’21
Curt Leibman ’78 and extern Ray Martinez ’21


"Now that I’ve spent two days working with my host, I’m beginning to get a feel for what it’s like to work at NASA Marshall as an engineer. Based on what I’ve observed from my host in his day-to-day activities, in addition to the information I’ve gleaned from the two informational interviews I’ve conducted with his coworkers, I feel as though life as a NASA engineer is both a career and lifestyle where I could definitely see myself thriving."

Joel Tibbetts ’20
Extern Danielle Evans-Schreiber and host Alex Casillas.

"I learned so much from this externship that it's hard to unpack it all or even think about it without looking at my notes! I think the most important things I learned were tips on future schooling and what my personal goals are."

Danielle Evans-Schreiber ’19
Extern Danielle Evan-Schreiber ’19 and her host Alex Casillas ’98
Maggie Connolly and Demarco Saffold.

"My host has given me so much knowledge that I plan on bringing back to Grinnell, especially relating to my practice as an artist. She told me that we are so vulnerable as artists because there isn't an exact plan set for our professional endeavors; we have to invent and create them on our own... As long as I continue creating work, then the only way for me to move is forward."

Demarco Saffold ’20
Maggie Connolly ’07 and extern Demarco Saffold ’20
Ruilin Yu, Juliet Torres, and host Neal Fleming.

"Honestly, I learned a lot of unexpected things throughout the trip. From learning how to travel on my own, to becoming confident in speaking with those in a higher position to me, to asking good questions, I gained a lot of insight into the professional world, the field of medicine, and myself. Though my externship ended a week ago, I am still thinking about it and honestly miss getting scrubbed in to be in the operating room all day."

Juliet Torres ’19
Externs Ruilin Yu ’20 (L) and Juliet Torres ’19 (R), with their host Neal Fleming ’77


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