How Do You Define an Internship?

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According to the American Geosciences Institutes Geoscience Student Exit Survey, internship participation rates over the past four years have been low, particularly among bachelors and doctoral graduates. In 2016, 65% of bachelors graduates, 44% of masters graduates, and 57% of doctoral graduates did not participate in an internship while working on their degree. When asked if they submitted applications for internship opportunities, 42% of bachelors graduates, 23% of masters graduates, and 46% of doctoral graduates claimed to not submit any applications. These statistics have raised concern at AGI because internships provide experiences that help develop critical professional skills and industry connections that can lead to jobs after graduation. However, when internships are discussed among various representatives in geoscience industries, there are disagreements in how an internship experience is defined. For example, opinions differ on whether REUs or other research experiences count as an internship. Clear definitions of internship opportunities may help academic faculty and advisors direct students towards these opportunities and help develop a collection of resources for finding future internships. This presentation will present some of the recent statistics on internship participation among geoscience graduates and present a series of questions to ascertain defining features of internships among AGU attendees and where help is needed to increase participation in internships among current geoscience students.

  • Carolyn Wilson*
  • Christopher Keane*
  • American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting 2017