Temple University Internship Program provides on-campus professional development, seeks to expand
The program, developed by the Career Center, works closely with other departments on campus to design internship programs and provide support for both students and supervisors. Departments can join the program now through Nov. 18.
At Temple, students never have to go far to gain valuable professional experience. Every industry is represented here in Philadelphia, which provides a diverse range of professional opportunities from internships to part-time jobs as well as access to an enormous local alumni network. Some opportunities, though, are even closer than you might realize: on campus.
The Temple University Internship Program, created in 2018, works closely with several departments on campus to design meaningful, paid internships. On-campus professional experience is in high demand, and the program wants to continue to expand by including more departments across the university. While many areas of the university offer student employment, this program is a collaboration between departments and the Career Center to provide a more structured, supportive experience for everyone.
“These on-campus internships are the perfect stepping stone for a student who’s interested in doing an internship at an outside organization,” said Sammy Munsch, KLN ’08, EDU ’20, the Career Center’s assistant director of internships and experiential education. “There’s going to be more guidance here, more flexibility with students’ schedules. If a student has a heavy course load, but still needs internship experience, these on-campus opportunities are more attainable.”
Some companies, including household names like Comcast and Urban Outfitters, are looking for students who have already completed more than one internship, explained Munsch.
“The sweet spot is to have two to three internships, so I think that if we can provide that experience for students, that’s going to set them apart and set Temple apart from other universities.”
This semester there are 25 different internships being offered through the program across campus. Some examples include a graphic design internship with the Wellness Resource Center, an assistive technology internship with Disability Resources and Services, and a brand development internship with the Office of Leadership Development.
Each semester, Munsch works to connect students to available internships and provide support during their experiences. She hosts professional development workshops for the cohort of interns so they can build community and check in to ensure they’re getting the most out of their position.
“The workshops focus on helping the students build their cultural competencies, communication skills and customer service skills,” said Musch. “We work through how they can better understand and recognize their skills and how to market themselves and their professional experiences.”
Munsch also checks in with the students’ supervisors to offer tips for managing students and making sure they get important experience in their role, such as problem solving and participating in professional team meetings.
“We want to educate departments on the fact that they need to empower students to understand that this is a really valuable experience for students,” said Munsch.
This academic year, most internships are being conducted remotely, which are still incredibly valuable and available.
“A student should consider what they want to get out of an internship rather than just starting one because you know you need it. If you tell your supervisor what you want to get out of it, they’re going to do the best to help you get it,” said Munsch. “While we’re remote, it’s a little harder to understand exactly what everyone expects from each other, so students should be really clear about what they want.”