The Benefits of an Undergraduate Internship
Three NYU students share what they learned about their fields—and themselves—during their undergraduate internship experiences
There are tens of thousands of internship opportunities available to undergraduates through NYU. And any one of them can lead you to a satisfying and successful career. But how do you go about finding one that’s right for you? We asked three students to share how they landed their internships and how they benefited from the experience.
Note: These in-person internships were completed before the pandemic.
A Faculty Connection Leads to a Museum Internship in Abu Dhabi
The Louvre Abu Dhabi was looking for an ethnography intern, and Lier Qiu, a Social Research and Public Policy major at NYU Abu Dhabi applied. “I learned about the opportunity from Saba Karim, the teaching assistant of the Ethnographic Field Research course. She sent an email describing the undergraduate internship to students who took the class with her. I thought it was a great opportunity to further develop my ethnographic qualitative research skills.”
The internship, which Lier extended from two months to a year, entailed observing visitors as they used the museum’s interactive interpretive tools. Then she compiled her observations into reports for museum stakeholders. “Even though I spent most of my time in the Louvre’s permanent galleries, I learned a lot about museum management.”
A Guest Lecturer Leads to a Water Conservation Internship in Shanghai
The Alliance for Water Stewardship Asia-Pacific, a group that promotes water conservation, offered Josh Jensen, a Global China Studies major at NYU Shanghai, an undergraduate internship. Josh, former president of Green Shanghai, the campus environmental group, learned about the internship through a course. “People from the Alliance visited class to discuss stewardship of water resources. Afterward, my professor, who knew I was heavily involved with sustainability on campus, introduced them to me.” At the Alliance Josh helped create an environmental report assessing the water quality of the Shanghai water basin. The report outlined the unique opportunities and challenges facing the area. “The internship gave me a deeper understanding of water issues in terms of the climate crisis and the mounting pressure we face to adapt our systems now.”
Networking and NYU Resources Lead to an Internship on Broadway
Adventureland, the production company of Broadway megahit Hamilton, extended Tisch Drama major Tori Lynn an undergraduate internship. “I began my production internship search by utilizing my network as well as employing NYU’s resources. Eventually, I connected with Adventureland’s chief operating officer,” she says. Tori started out performing administrative tasks but segued into reading script and score submissions as well as conducting interviews and composing editorials for Hamilton’s official app. Tori says trusting her own capabilities and staying open to learning new things were the greatest lessons she learned from the experience. “If you are blessed enough to be offered an internship in your area, snatch it up,” she says. “The amount you will learn about the industry and how you personally function within it will be unmatched.”