USC Price School of Public Policy

Externship Program

USC Price Externship

The Externship Program is an extended “shadowing” opportunity for undergraduate and graduate students. It is concentrated around spring break so students can spend three to five days, during the week of March 18-22, 2013, actively working with professionals on substantive projects. The externship program provides students real-world exposure to an occupational area relevant to their area of study.

Professionals are able to examine the student’s interest, skills, and competencies as a potential future employee or intern.

1. What is an externship?
An externship is a volunteer “shadowing” style opportunity for graduate students to spend from three to five days during their spring break (usually in the month of March) actively working with professionals, while gaining exposure to an occupational area related to their training. The externships are not for academic credit or pay, but the experience will greatly benefit both the students and sponsors. The extended time span of the externship gives the student the ability to refine their career goals while allowing the sponsor to examine the interests, skills and competencies of potential employees or interns.

USC Externship

2. What can I have students do during their externship?
It is up to you to decide what is appropriate in your work environment for the extern to participate in. We ask that you go through your day with the student as you would any other day so that the students can have a realistic view of what your career entails. Some options include:

  • Observing and asking questions
  • Conducting informational interviews with you and other co-workers
  • Attending meetings and other functions
  • Editing or proofreading
  • Assisting with research projects
  • Working directly with or observing interactions with customers and clients
  • Providing career guidance

3. What types of students will I expect to have?
The students that will have the opportunity to participate in an externship will be undergraduate or graduate students in the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy including: Masters of Public Administration, Masters of Public Policy, Masters of Health Administration and Masters of Planning.

4. As an employer, do I have the opportunity to select students?
No, you are doing enough by offering to participate in the program as a sponsor. The Office of Career Services will screen student applicants and make a selection for you, and then verify that the student has the qualification you requested. By indicating your preferences and expectations on the sponsor application, we will strive to place an appropriate student with you.

5. Will students contact me directly?
Yes, but only after the Office of Career Services has informed you of your extern. It is the responsibility of the student to get in contact with you prior to the externship once the decision has been made and the contact information has been provided to the student. Students will not be given contact information during the application process.

6. Are there costs to participate?
There is no cost to you as a sponsor of the externship. Students are responsible for all of their expenses, transportation, meals, and lodging if necessary.

7. How many student externs will each office/organization receive?
In your application, please list the number of student externs your office / organization would like to host.

8. What is the timetable for the Externship Program?
Sponsor Applications Due — Monday, January 14, 2013
Decisions / Matches Made By — End of January / Early February 2013
Externship Program — Monday, March 18, 2013, through Friday, March 22, 2013