Michigan State University
Michigan State University
Citizen Scholars

063360-green-grunge-clipart-icon-people-things-handshake.pngInternships, in connection with your coursework and co-curricular activities, help to prepare you for the job world beyond college, where employers pay for your skills, capabilities, and performance. According to many studies, employers report that they value ‘soft skills’ or ‘transferable skills’ as much as – or even more than – field-specific knowledge, although technical skills are also important.

In order of importance, employers seek employees with these 10 ‘soft’ and ‘hard’ skills:

  1. Ability to work in a team
  2. Ability to make decisions and solve problems 
  3. Ability to plan, organize and prioritize work
  4. Ability to communicate verbally with people inside and outside an organization
  5. Ability to obtain and process information (research and interpretation)
  6. Ability to analyze quantitative data
  7. Technical knowledge related to the job
  8. Proficiency with computer software programs
  9. Ability to create and/or edit written reports
  10. Ability to sell and influence others


Whatever your major, your Arts and Letters degree offers strong grounding in many of these transferable skills. Internships provide opportunities to put them to work in the world, test your strengths, and find areas where you need further development. They help you to translate your classroom success into workplace success, and to more fully recognize what you have to offer. They also establish and expand your network, your knowledge of your own field, and your perspective on your post-graduation opportunities. It’s not uncommon for employers to hire interns after they graduate!

Resources for Students:

Prepare before you begin, by answering these key questions:

005251-green-grunge-clipart-icon-arrows-arrow-thick-right.png  Is your resume complete?

005251-green-grunge-clipart-icon-arrows-arrow-thick-right.png  Do you know the number of hours you are available to work?

005251-green-grunge-clipart-icon-arrows-arrow-thick-right.png  Geographically where can you intern (can you relocate)?

005251-green-grunge-clipart-icon-arrows-arrow-thick-right.png  Do you have transportation?

005251-green-grunge-clipart-icon-arrows-arrow-thick-right.png  Where do you lack experience?

005251-green-grunge-clipart-icon-arrows-arrow-thick-right.png  What type of experiences would you like to have?

005251-green-grunge-clipart-icon-arrows-arrow-thick-right.png  What do you want to learn?

005251-green-grunge-clipart-icon-arrows-arrow-thick-right.png  What kinds of duties would you like to take on?

005251-green-grunge-clipart-icon-arrows-arrow-thick-right.png  Are you looking for a paid/unpaid internship?

005251-green-grunge-clipart-icon-arrows-arrow-thick-right.png  How effective is your cover letter for the type of internship you’re seeking?

Consult with Becky Brewer at CAL Career Services, or talk with the CS program adviser or director to get started.