Career Exploration offers programs, services and appointments in areas convenient to your students. Divisional (social sciences, natural sciences and mathematics, humanities and fine arts) career counselors and trained undergraduate fellows are in your academic spaces, connecting with students and faculty and providing tailored career exploration and preparation.
In-class activities and discussion
Career Exploration counselors present on a variety of topics including career exploration and job search skill development topics. We work with faculty to tailor offerings to best meet the needs of your class. Presentations range from a brief introduction on our services (5 to 10 minutes) to a full course meeting – or several!
Topics we cover include:
- Career Exploration overview
- Self-assessment and reflection
- Career and pathway exploration
- Writing effective materials
- Professional online presence
- Informational interviewing
- Navigating the workplace
Career Counseling for Students
Faculty and staff often refer students directly to career counseling staff. Counselors meet with students individually for single or ongoing appointments to discuss career-related concerns. Topics include but are not limited to: major selection, clarifying skills and interests, academic challenges, job search questions/concerns, graduate school planning. Individuals can also discuss major/career related stress, family concerns, questions about discrimination in the job search/workplace, and financial concerns.
Students can schedule appointments via Handshake. To refer a student directly, please email John Mountain.
Consult on job search, career and employment questions
Been awhile since you searched for a job? Have a student with interests outside your expertise? Not sure how to help a student? Career Exploration can help.
Career Exploration staff are trained to help the huge spectrum of interests and career aspirations of Macalester students and alumni. You are welcome to consult with individual Career Exploration staff directly, or email John Mountain to discuss your needs.
Collaborate on field-specific or major-related events
Career Exploration collaborates with diverse campus departments and student organizations to offer career exploration and planning events. Please contact John Mountain to inquire on collaborations.
Internships are designed to provide students with structured, off-campus, learning-work experiences in a wide range of community organizations in the Twin Cities and around the world.
- Organizations provide challenging, substantial work experiences for students and agree to supervise and evaluate their performance.
- Host organizations receive valuable work contributions and energy from creative, highly motivated, inquisitive students who may one day enter the workforce in that field.
- Students engaged in internships bring relevant real world experience into the classroom to shed light on the theoretical.
Helping Students Plan for Internships
Students may approach a faculty member for advice as they begin brainstorming potential internships, seeking input on types of experiences or particular sites that have the potential to move them toward their intellectual and career objectives.
Faculty can help students thoughtfully explore their options.
- What does the student wish to gain from the experience: Exposure to a given field and the work involved? Technical skills? Personal growth/sophistication? The selection of a major and career research?
- Who is the best person to act as faculty sponsor for this particular internship? Sometimes the same experience may be examined through significantly different perspectives based upon the discipline of the faculty helping to design and assess the experience.
The Faculty Sponsor Role
The faculty sponsor is the professor responsible for overseeing the academic direction of the learning experience in the internship by helping the student make the connections between what they are experiencing and what they are studying. It is imperative that the internship have the academic integrity to warrant credit, and the professor’s involvement in the planning, processing, and evaluation of the experience is the key.
The academic internship director provides ample support and information to assist the professor and student throughout this process.
A faculty sponsor may be different from the student’s academic advisor.
Developing a Learning Contract
The student and faculty sponsor work together to plan all aspects of the internship and complete a Learning Contract, which includes discipline-specific learning objectives and relevant learning outcome measures.
While a position/job description describes the intern’s role and responsibilities, the learning objectives should describe what the student hopes to learn from the overall experience, especially as it pertains to their course of study. Learning outcome measures are vital for assessing learning and attainment of the learning objectives.
Use the Developing the Learning Contract Quick Start Guide (gdoc) to help the student in developing their learning objectives, learning tasks/strategies, and evaluation and learning outcomes.
For the Academic Advisor
Career Exploration works with students, faculty sponsors, and community partners to create intentional, academically relevant learning experiences. The primary academic objectives of internships include:
- Providing opportunities for students to examine first-hand knowledge and theories learned in the classroom for their wider impact on society and the world at large.
- Providing opportunities for students to evaluate and apply a body of knowledge and methods of inquiry from an academic discipline.
- Providing students access to a larger or different “laboratory” of equipment and/or situations not easily obtained or available on campus.
- Providing students expanded opportunities for self-directed learning.
- Enabling students to develop work competencies for specific professions and to explore career interests and form networks.
- Providing opportunities for students to develop intellectual and professional partnerships.
However, as you advise a student, keep in mind there are other ways an internship may be a positive curricular option. For a student struggling with decisions related to the choice of a major or career, an internship can produce valuable experience and insights that provide motivation and direction. A meaningful internship can also be a great option for a student you see as being “burned out” or disillusioned with school. The real world connection can serve to re-invigorate the student and get them in touch with the value of completing a degree, perhaps more clearly seeing their education as a means to a desired end.
Review Internship Policies and Requirements for more information.
Please feel free to refer students to the Career Exploration office for a consultation about possible internships. We will help brainstorm options, develop a search strategy, create/refine a resume and cover letter, prepare for interviews, and manage all documentation to register the internship for credit.
Faculty are also encouraged to contact Mike Porter, Academic Internship Director, at 651-696-6152 or firstname.lastname@example.org to explore incorporating experiential education/civic engagement in courses, and/or to learn ways to be an effective faculty sponsor.