The summers after sophomore and junior year are daunting, as the pressure for students to secure summer internships increases. However, there is a misconception concerning internship opportunities as a University of Illinois student. The common belief is that your only internships will occur during the summers in a big city, but many people gloss over the internship opportunities in the Champaign-Urbana community.
As a political science major, I always assumed that the only internship opportunities for me were summer internships in Springfield, Chicago, and Washington D.C. However, I have learned that there is an abundance of opportunities to get involved in politics in the local community. Despite being in political offices, students can learn many hands-on skills applicable to business, communications, and more.
While I learned these opportunities later in my college career, there are many opportunities applicable to other students, such as internships through the University of Illinois and the Champaign Park District.
- The Champaign Park District offers internships for class credit in these departments: Recreation, Cultural Arts, Douglass Community Center, Sports, Tennis, Aquatics, Special Events, Human Resources, Risk Management, Marketing, Landscape Architecture, Special Recreation, and Natural Areas. You can learn more and find the applications here.
- The English Department has its annual ATLAS Internship Program, which you can find more information and apply for here. The ATLAS program connects students with internship opportunities in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, University-affiliated organizations, and local non-profit organizations.
- Busey Bank regularly posts applications for their seasonal Wealth Management Internship, which is great for students in the Gies College of Business.
- The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences has LAS 100 interns every year, where the pay is $11.00 an hour.
- For students in journalism and communications, they may be interested in applying to work as an intern for Illinois Public Media in Urbana. You can find their Handshake profile here.
While these internships may not be in the big city, they are great opportunities for students to build their resume and professional experience, which will open more doors for them in the summer and post-college. Work opportunities are what students make out of them, and these are great opportunities to grow their skillset during the school year.