What is an externship?
An externship is a 3-5 day opportunity to shadow a professional in a career of your choice. It's a great way to learn how professionals in a particular career spend their time, what hours they work, what education is necessary to enter this field, and how they balance work and family. The program is for all students: first-years, sophomores, juniors, or seniors.
When can I extern?
You can extern either during the winter break (in January) or during spring break (in March). Since Kenyon's spring break lasts for two weeks, you could potentially shadow someone during either week, depending upon his/her availability.
With whom can I extern?
The person you "shadow" is called your Extern Host. Typically, Extern Hosts have been Kenyon alumni or parents of Kenyon students. However, some students have chosen to "self-generate" their Host. Thus, if you know someone (or even read about someone) who is in a career that interests you, write to them and ask if they would be willing to have a shadow. The CDO is always more than willing to proofread the correspondence or even help you write it.
Here are some examples of companies that have hosted externs in the past...
|ESPN||The New York Times||National Geographic|
|WGBH||JP Morgan Chase||UNICEF|
|All Creatures Animal Hospital||Rolling Stone Magazine||Christie's|
|US Library of Congress||Planned Parenthood||Smithsonian Institute|
|Cosmopolitan Magazine||Gund Partnership||Random House|
|Prep for Prep||General Electric||Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago|
How do I apply for an externship?
- Attend the "Explore Careers through Job Shadowing" program. This is a mandatory session. Detailed information on how to obtain an externship and the steps in the process are available through the CDO.
- Complete and turn in the waiver form. This form is also available online through Symplicity. After logging in, click on "Resources" in the top purple bar, then click on "Document Library" to obtain a copy of this form. This must be handed in before you reserve your Host.
- Keep an eye out for email reminders about "Externship Express." This program connects you to Extern Hosts who have already agreed to have an Extern during one of the weeks mentioned above. These Extern Hosts are reserved on a first-come, first-serve basis.
- Write to your Host.
The dates for the programs and applications are included in e-mails that are sent to all students in early September. For questions or comments about this program at any time, email our office.
How do I write my Host?
To guide you in the process of contacting your Host, we have created a sample email that you can model your initial message after. We also have sample responses to a Host's yes or no, as well as sample phone conversations.
Comments from past externs
"This experience was very useful because I had all these preconceived ideas of what a social worker does, and this week a lot of my preconceived ideas were either reaffirmed or shattered."
"I knew an art gallery sells and exhibits works, but I didn't know exactly how. I never knew all the jobs that were in a gallery."
"Doing this externship will hopefully not be the end of my questioning. Now I feel more confident talking to people about their careers and I intend to take a much more active role in seeking out a career I want."