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Learning beyond the classroom

students working with salmon outside of lab
Students work with salmon at the John Fryer Aquatic Animal Health Laboratory, OSU's regional fish disease facility.

Get job experience solving real world problems

Many majors at OSU require internships or a mentorship component. Internships not only help build your critical thinking and problem-solving skills, they also make you attractive to employers and help you stand out from other job applicants.

Internships are any temporary, paid or unpaid, student training experiences at a company or organization in the your field that help you gain skills and qualifications for your career.

These experiences can help you figure out what jobs interest you and also give you real-life, hands-on experiences. In a recent survey, more than half of all college graduates said that an internship got them a job after graduation.

Chris Marshall and students looking at insect samples
The Oregon State Arthropod Collection began in the 1870s and has grown to nearly three million preserved insect specimens. It is the largest university-owned collection in the Pacific Northwest and among the largest in the country.

Internships help you gain professional skills to land your first job

The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) conducted a study about the positive implications of an internship on early career outcomes. LookSharp’s 2016 State of Millennial Hiring Report indicates that graduates who complete three or more internships are more likely to secure full-time employment, with 81% of graduates reporting that the internships helped them shift their career directions either significantly (35%) or slightly (46%) by changing the focus of classes or majors.

A recent survey of 501 business executives and 500 hiring managers found that 93% of executives and 94% of hiring managers were more likely to hire applicants with internship or apprenticeship experiences.

Get the preparation you need to obtain an internship.

Finding an internship

You may find internship positions that are not publicly advertised. You may need to explore a bit. Below are some tips for finding an internship.

  • Share your interests with friends, family, advisors, professors, and others who may connect you to an opening.
  • Meet new people at OSU Career Development Center events and networking receptions.
  • Join professional science organizations or science student clubs.
  • Connect with friends and peers through professional networking sites such as LinkedIn.
  • Visit the Science Success Center.

Competition for internships can be fierce. Use the suggestions below to find internships and jobs in the market.

  • Log in to Handshake and search for thousands of positions that are specifically posted for OSU students and alumni.
  • Tailor your search according to industry or occupation through specialized sites including Idealist for nonprofit positions, USAJOBS, and others.
  • Use LinkedIn Job Search to uncover insights such as whom you know at company, providing an edge in your job search.
  • Join the College of Science LinkedIn.
  • Do some research on general job sites including Indeed, SimplyHired, and Craigslist.
  • Target specific openings listed on company/organizations' websites.
  • Speak with employers at the OSU Fall Career Expo Day for STEM fields and the Winter Career Expo. Check our the Career Development calendar for details about these events and others.

ONAMI Graduate Internships

The College of Science offers two internships graduate students in partnership with ONAMI (Oregon Nanoscience and Microtechnologies Institute). ONAMI is where academia, business and government come together to accelerate research and bring breakthrough ideas to market. It's where entrepreneurs have access to cutting-edge resources and investors have opportunities to fund groundbreaking technology. And it is an extraordinary opportunity for our graduate students.

The ONAMI Graduate Internships are part of the Startups program. Students can participate in an internship with the following two companies:

  • Energy Storage Systems (ESS Tech, Inc.) - a manufacturing company that produces high quality small tonnage thermoplastic injection molded parts and services.
  • Abom, Inc - Led by a group of inventors, scientists and designers, Abom produces and licenses anti-fog technology in snow sports, military/tactical and safety goggles.