Completing an internship during graduate school can have wide-ranging benefits for doctoral students as they pursue their careers, from developing new skills to gaining collaborative experience, networking, engaging in public scholarship, and even reshaping how they think about their own research or field of study. While internships are often cited by graduate alumni as key steps in their careers, many graduate students have reported challenges in talking about them with their advisors. In a new article for Inside Higher Ed, Rackham program lead for STEM professional development Gina Shereda and program lead for the Rackham Program in Public Scholarship Joe Cialdella offer insight and advice to help graduate students discuss pusuing internships with their academic advisors.
Drawing on their direct experience helping graduate students, Shereda and Cialdella share ways they regularly coach students about how to have productive conversations about internships with their advisors, including:
- Talking early, and with an open mind
- Preparing details to make the case for pursuing an internship
- Keeping their advisor’s perspective in mind
- Connecting the internship to their existing graduate work
- Using evidence-based communication strategies