Despite Their Differences: Internships vs. Academic Career Explorations

All undergraduate students who attend Delaware Valley University are required to take Experience360 Program credits. The number of credits that students have to earn for E360 depends on their major as programs differ. However, in a majority of the undergraduate majors, students need to complete either an internship or academic career exploration activity (student research and student teaching are other activities that fall into the “Group A” listing but those will not be discussed in this post). Some may not know the differences between the two, which can be found in the “Group A” listing of activities, however, there definitely are. Knowing what requirements will have to be completed in order to fulfill your E360 credits may help you make a decision as to which one you want to take.

Internships

To many, an internship is considered a rite of passage from being a student to entering into the workforce. By taking on this E360 activity it is important to consider all that comes along with it. Just like any E360 activity, you are not just completing the experience, there is coursework that coincides with it as well. Internships can only be completed for three credits (no more, no less). According to The Experience360 Program Resource Book, which was created by The Center for Student Professional Development (CSPD) at DelVal, in order to even be considered for an internship, student must have the following requirements completed:

  1. DelVal Experience I and II
  2. 45 credits in general (15 credits from DelVal)
  3. 2.5 GPA minimum
  4. Willing to participate in the actual experience (work and learning)
  5. Be an ambassador for DelVal towards the community

Academic Career Exploration Experiences

If you are thinking of opting for an academic career exploration experience, it is best to fully understand what it is first. An academic career exploration experience activity is a way to gain one, two, or three E360 credits. Unlike the internship option, there is a little bit more flexibility with this choice, and it is a good option if you are looking to add on some additional credits/course load or are just looking to gain more experience. If you are planning to take this on, be sure to take a look at The Experience360 Program Resource Book, because a student must have completed the requirements listed below in order to take the course:

  1. DelVal Experience I and II
  2. 27 credits in general (15 credits from DelVal)
  3. Willing to participate in the actual experience (work and learning)
  4. Be an ambassador for DelVal towards the community

Want to investigate the handbook more? Feel free to check out this link: https://delval.edu/sites/default/files/2020-09/e360-program-resource-book01.pdf

From personal experience, I chose to do the academic career exploration experience. When in the process of deciding I remembered being told that an internship is for when you are mostly sure of what you wanted to do after you graduate. An academic career exploration experience should be taken if you want to explore more options and you don’t know exactly what you want to do quite yet. Since I really didn’t know what I wanted to do at that time (in the summer of sophomore year), it seemed like it would be best to figure out what potential opportunities were out there for me. I highly suggest reaching out to your advisor, professors, E360 faculty members, and the CSPD in order to guide you in your experiential journey!

Written by: Brooke Farber

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