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In an internship, a student can learn experientially at a social institution, cultural organization, community-based organization or corporation, gaining firsthand work experience, learning about the activities in a particular setting, developing skills and knowledge that may lead to later employment and exploring connections between academic ideas and practical knowledge. Internships are a key element of the Gallatin program, and they are often among the most memorable and useful student experiences. An internship is a credit-bearing work experience in a non-classroom environment, and internships are typically unpaid positions, although students in paid positions are permitted to receive credit.

Internships are available in a variety of areas, including business, education, legal services, journalism, film and theater. Some examples of internships include:

  • Tutoring elementary school children in a settlement house after-school program
  • Designing Web pages for a start-up Internet company
  • Conducting a survey on housing conditions for a local community organization
  • Leading tours at a famous art museum
  • Assisting a strategic planning committee in a major corporation

The possibilities are endless. Gallatin students can avail themselves of the vast resources of New York City, which provide a myriad of opportunities for practical experience and fieldwork. Each semester many students are placed in internships with organizations such as Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Bellevue Hospital Center, Manhattan Theatre Club, 20/20 (ABC-TV), Capitol Records, Sony, Inc., Working Woman Magazine, and Merrill Lynch. These placements are just a small sampling of the many interesting and challenging internships that help undergraduate students obtain hands-on training in their fields. 

Arranging an Internship

Internships require the approval of both the faculty adviser and the director of external programs. To locate internship opportunities, students can consult with the director and look through the internship listings that are available at the Gallatin office (1 Washington Place, 6th floor). The faculty adviser may also suggest a particular internship, the student may pursue his or her own search process, or the student can also consult with NYU's Wasserman Center for Career Development. Once the student has found an internship that seems appropriate to his or her goals, the student should meet with the director of external programs to help secure the internship. Students who find their own internships must provide the director with the name and location of the internship and the on-site supervisor. 

 The On-Site Supervisor

The student/intern is essentially an employee of the institution or organization where the internship takes place, and the on-site supervisor is the person to whom the student is directly responsible. The on-site supervisor is responsible for overseeing the student's day-to-day work and providing guidance and feedback. During the course of the semester, the director of external programs may make a field visit to meet with both the student and the on-site supervisor. In addition to supervising the student's work, the on-site supervisor has two other responsibilities:

  1. At the beginning of the semester, the on-site supervisor must submit a confirmation letter (on official letterhead) to the director of external programs, detailing the student's internship responsibilities and work schedule.
  2. At the end of the semester, the on-site supervisor must complete a two-page performance evaluation of the student. The supervisor's performance evaluation will be forwarded to the adviser and will be considered when the faculty adviser determines the final grade.

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New York University
Gallatin School of Individualized Study
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New York, NY 10003
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