Continue your learning outside the classroom

At Springfield College, we believe that education is all about taking action, which is why you have the opportunity to work in the field and gain valuable experience during your time here.

A male student looks through a microscope in a Springfield College classroom

Internships are a great way to gain hands-on experience. Think you may be interested in conservation science, but unsure what that means on the day to day? Internships can be life-changing in that they provide a great opportunity to both experience different real-world aspects of a job you are interested in, AND provide professional contacts that can change the trajectory of your career. The Biology/Chemistry Department has cultivated relationships with several institutions that will facilitate your ability to take part in these experiences. You can take internships for 1-3 credits, depending on how many hours you are working. Participating in an internship opportunity does not require that you take it for credit. You can also participate in a particular internship site without applying for the credits, but just to get the experience. We can help students find experiences with institutions outside the affiliation list if students are interested in other experiences without applying for credit. There are lots of ways to get hands-on experience, make sure to talk with your advisor about the multiple options.

Because we are not a department that grants a clinical degree, we do not offer clinical internships for credit. If you are interested in clinical experience, job shadowing may be a better place to start.

How to apply:

  1. Talk to your advisor! Start early—the semester BEFORE you want to do one! Discuss the type of experience you’re looking for, the amount of time you are able to invest.
  2. Fill out an Internship Interest Application. This is to help make sure we are matching students effectively.
  3. Upon approval of your internship request, go back to your advisor to contact your specific institution. Many institutions have their own separate application process, including interviews, so get in touch with them as soon as you are approved to do an internship.
  4. Once you are accepted by your desired internship institution, you will complete a course by arrangement form, detailing the number of hours you are applying for (this gets turned into Springfield College to make sure you get the credits you’re going for).

  5. You and your advisor will set up a semester schedule for journal entries, final writing assignment and the evaluation by your site supervisor.

  6. Get out there and get your hands dirty! Take pictures! Make contacts! Let us know how it’s going!

Approved Internship Sites

Institution

Faculty member with more info

General category

Website

Notes

Forest Park Zoo M. Fowler animal care, education LINK Springfield
Mystic Aquarium (Mystic CT) M. Fowler animal research; options for education and security among a few others. LINK Mystic, CT; housing options are available, but must work full time. Very competitive, but prestigious. Probably only summer
Sierra Club J. Compton environmental policy and advocacy LINK Many options throughout MA
The Nature Conservancy J. Compton conservation and environmental management LINK Many options throughout MA
Connecticut River Conservancy M. Fowler fieldwork, conservation/management LINK Greenfield, MA.
Trustees of the Reservation J. Compton conservation and environmental management LINK Many options throughout MA
Pioneer Valley Coral & Natural Science Institute M. Fowler education (high school student labs), potential for research projects LINK Holyoke, MA
Audubon Society M. Fowler conservation/fieldwork LINK Easthampton, potential for Hamden, MA
MassDEP J. Compton fieldwork, policy, advocacy (environmental justice) LINK Springfield, Holyoke, Chicopee
Springfield Science Museum M. Fowler science education or aquarist/husbandry LINK Springfield
Con-Test Analytical Labs M. Fowler analytical chemical laboratory LINK East Longmeadow, MA; potentially paid

Job Shadowing

Job shadowing provides a student with the ability to witness how a professional works in a real-life environment. At times, the professional will allow the student to participate in the work. Many students looking to observe some clinical aspects of a career will pursue these opportunities.

These experiences are not for credit, and are often short term in nature, but can give valuable insight into the day-to-day life in a particular career, as well as forming professional contacts for the future. The duration of these experiences can range from just a few days to several hours per week over several weeks. Students will arrange their schedule with the shadowing host.

How to get a shadowing experience:
The Career Center will have you fill out a form describing the shadowing experience you are looking for and will set up a meeting with a Counselor at the center. The Counselor can reach out to the employer on the students behalf. The Career Center can also help students with their resumes as well as prep them with tips for interacting during the experience. Additionally, the Career Center can help look for longer term positions (summer jobs etc).

Faculty do not set up the shadowing experiences, but can help direct you to some resources. We have a number of contacts that your advisor can direct you to (see some example institutions where students have shadowed below). Then you can reach out with the contacts provided to set up a shadowing experience. Keeping track of your hours throughout the experience will be a good practice to catalog your experiences to include on resumes.

Examples of previous shadowing placements:

Baystate Health (Nephrology, Podiatry, Anesthesiology)

Mercy Medical Hospital (Emergency Medicine)

UMASS Health Center, Worcester (Radiology)

Fletcher Allen Health Care, Burlington, VT (Neurology)

ATI Physical Therapy

Rockingham Orthopedic Association

Newton Wellesley Orthopedic Associates

New England Osteopathic Surgeons

Private family dentistry