Having a co-op or internship can help you:
- Gain valuable experience
- Figure out your career path
- Apply the skills you’ve learned in school to a professional setting
- Expand your professional network
- Be considered for a full-time position
Co-Op / Internship
Use Handshake, Georgia State’s job board. You can search for full-time, part-time, internships and co-ops. You can also prepare to apply by working on your resume using Optimal Resume, showcasing your work in Portfolium and researching job options using the “What Can I Do With This Major?” online search tool. Look at O*Net, the Department of Labor’s report on jobs and future of industries, to see which jobs are predicted to grow in demand. And work your network: Let people know you are looking for opportunities.
Every department that offers credit for an internship has different requirements and procedures. Get in touch with your department to learn about them. Remember to give yourself time to do everything needed in advance of the actual experience.
Unfortunately, you might never hear from an employer, particularly one that receives a lot of applications. It’s fine to follow up in a couple of weeks, but you might need to look at other options.
Co-ops are full-time, paid work experiences related to your major. Co-ops are rotational, which means you’ll work full-time for a semester, return to take classes full time and then return to your co-op for another semester. Students do not take classes while participating in co-ops. Co-op rotations may be set at a semester or six months, but semester rotations are the most popular. Co-ops at Georgia State are available to computer science, computer information systems, political science and geosciences (with a GIS concentration) majors. Learn more at co-op.gsu.edu.
Internships can be completed on a part-time or full-time basis, whereas co-ops always include a full-time schedule. Co-ops are always paid positions, whereas internships can be paid or unpaid. With a co-op, students work for one term, return to take classes and then return to the employer for another work term. Conversely, internships typically last one semester only. Internships are available to all students, whereas co-ops are available to undergraduates in select majors: computer science, computer information systems, geosciences (with a GIS concentration) and political science.
You can start looking as soon as your come to Georgia State, but most students should be looking seriously during undergraduate years two and three.