Searching for jobs and internships require the same kinds of skills: seeking available opportunities and showing how your skills fit with an open position.
Interested in learning about interesting careers that graduates of the College of LAS have pursued? Check out our LAS@Work series, where alumni answer questions about their jobs and how their Illinois degrees helped them find success, or attend one of our LAS Alumni Career Panels.
Where to find opportunities
You can find job and internship openings in many places, both on campus and off.
A few examples:
- some LAS department and school resources (some units may hire internally - those positions are often posted to Handshake)
- the Research Park's website
- the Virtual Job Board
- Idealist.org for non-profit jobs
Handshake is a career services platform to access postings for jobs and internships, on-campus interviews, workshops, career coaching appointments, and more. It offers training videos to help you get started.
However, the listings you'll find on Handshake are for companies specifically recruiting on college campuses. Websites like Indeed and ZipRecruiter will allow you access to other national searches. USAJOBS lists federal job openings and provides resources to help you apply for these positions.
Career and internship fairs
Career and internship fairs hosted on campus provide the opportunity for students to network and find internships and jobs. Fairs are also a great way to explore careers and different employment sectors. LAS students are welcome at all career and internship fairs on campus. Students are encouraged to attend preparation workshops available before some fairs. They help students know what to expect and how to get the most out of the experience.
Campus-wide fairs open to LAS students:
- ACES + LAS Career Fair
- Illini Career & Internship Fair
- Engineering Career Fair
- Gies Business Fair
Networking and informational interviews
Networking is the process of building connections to others. It can provide you insight into others' careers, and it's a useful tool to acquire information, advice, and referrals about careers, industries, internship opportunities, and job prospects. Learn more about networking from The Career Center. After you graduate, getting involved in Illini clubs and affinity groups is a great way to network. The College of Liberal Arts & Sciences has its own alumni association, as well.
Informational interviews offer the chance to talk with people who are currently working in your field of interest and may help you decide if a particular career is right for you. They are a chance to learn more about a specific career without making a long-term commitment. You can discover the responsibilities, rewards, and problem areas inherent in a specific career by asking questions of people already established in that field. The Career Center has more guidance about informational interviews, including how to arrange them and what you should ask.
More about internships
Internships come in many different forms: paid, unpaid, sometimes with academic credit (sometimes not), in person or virtual, during in the academic year in Champaign-Urbana, or abroad in the summer.
Internships in the College of LAS
The college supports many internship programs that allow students to develop leadership and professional skills.
LAS 101/102/122 internships
These interns facilitate and manage a section of the course, and serve as mentors to the students in the section. Interns receive additional leadership and professional development experiences. Learn more about LAS 101: Design Your First Year Experience internships, LAS 102: Transfer Advantage internships, and LAS 122: Honors Freshman Seminar internships.
ATLAS Internship Program
Applied Technologies for Learning in the Arts & Sciences has an internship program that encourages LAS students to integrate knowledge in their course of study with technology to help gain a unique and versatile skill set. Semester-long internships are offered internally within ATLAS as well as externally at various departments in the College of LAS and other university-affiliated organizations.
Joan and Peter Hood Internship
This internship assists the associate dean and assistant deans in the college's Student Academic Affairs Office. Work includes special projects and research studies. The Hood intern also supports LAS Lineup, an enewsletter distributed to more than 12,000 LAS students every week.
Life + Career Design Lab Internship
Lab interns assist students in the Life + Career Design Lab. They help students find their way through the multiple academic, co-curricular, extra-curricular, and professional experiences available on campus and beyond. Interns meet one-on-one with students and host workshops open to all students.
Illinois in Washington
Illinois in Washington, sponsored by the Department of Political Science, gives students an opportunity to intern and take classes in Washington, D.C.
Students pursuing an unpaid internship with public service agencies and not-for-profit organizations may be eligible for the University YMCA's Fred S. Bailey Unpaid Internship Scholarship Program.
Alumni and friends interested in supporting LAS pursuing internships are encouraged to give to the Life + Career Design Lab (please note internship fund in the "Why I gave today" section).
Some internships may be unpaid. Students are encouraged to learn about the Test for Unpaid Interns established by the United States Department of Labor Fact Sheet #71: Internship Programs Under the Fair Labor Standards Act.
Internship courses in LAS
Some LAS units provide an academic experience in tandem with an internship to help students make connections between their academic and professional goals. Speak to your academic advisor if you are interested in this kind of experience. General information about earning academic credit for an internship may be found on the Career Center's internship page.
These internship courses are offered by various LAS units:
- LAS 199: Professional Development Seminar (open to all LAS students)
- ANTH 498: Senior Capstone Seminar (internship option for ANTH students)
- ATMS 492: Capstone Undergraduate Research (internship option for ATMS students)
- CHBE 210: CHBE Internship (open to CHBE students)
- CHEM 295: Chemistry Internships (open to CHEM students)
- CMN 204: Internship in Teaching Communication (open to CMN students)
- CMN 304: Communication Internship (open to CMN students)
- ESE 401: Capstone Experience (internship option for ESE students)
- ECON 199: Internship Course (open to ECON students)
- ENGL 199: Internship Seminar (open to ENGL students and other majors with instructor permission)
- GEOG 392: Geography & GIS Internship (open to GEOG students)
- PS 491: Internship section MH1 (open to PS students and other majors with instructor permission)
- PS 491: Internship section WA (required for students participating in the Illinois in Washington academic and internship program in Washington, D.C.)
- HIST 398: Internship in Public History (open to HIST students)
- MCB 198: Internship (open to MCB and Biochemistry students)
- MATH 399: Math/Actuarial Internship (open to MATH and Actuarial Science students)
- SOC 400: Internships (open to SOC students)
Making an impression
Cover letter and resume
Resumes and cover letters are important tools for showing how your specific skills match what the employer is looking for. You should make sure they're both specific to the position you're applying for. The Career Center offers many resources on how to share your story with prospective employers.
An interview can be a way to convince an employer, either in person or by video or phone, that you're the person for the job. The Career Center offers plenty of advice on acing the interview.
Well-written professional communications leave a positive impression, so write carefully. Get tips from The Career Center. Having a strong LinkedIn profile can also offer a good impression. The Career Center offers some tips, and LinkedIn offers tutorials and instructions, as well.