Creating a DIY Externship

Are you interested in learning about what a particular career looks like in real life? Are you interested in creating a Do It Yourself externship that fits your specific interests but don’t know where to begin?

Basic Steps:

  1. Decide on an area of interest (such as a major) or career field you would like to explore.
  2. Create 2 or 3 learning goals you would like to accomplish during your externship.
  3. Find and contact an alum in your chosen area of interest or career field. Create your opportunity.
  4. Finalize forms/details with the CCPD.

How to find and contact an alum:

  1. Reach out to the alumni you identified in LinkedIn to see if they would be willing to host you for an externship in their workplace. The more prepared you are when you reach out, the greater the chance of getting a response. The CCPD recommends using LinkedIn and the Kalamazoo College Alumni Directory to connect and network with alumni. For assistance with both, please visit Learning from and Connecting with Alumni.
  2. In addition to LinkedIn, you may have other ways to connect with alumni. We encourage you to be creative. You might be able to connect with alumni through your sports team, student organizations, professors, or networking events on campus. For help or more suggestions, please schedule an appointment with a Career Coach in Handshake.
  3. When you reach out clearly state: who you are, what you are looking for, why you selected them, and what you goals are. Suggest a time to talk (on the phone) about the possibility of doing an externship with them. Some of the things you should discuss include:
    • How long will the opportunity be?
    • Will it include a homestay? If not, who will you be staying with? Think about porch time during this externship (refer to the CCPD website for details), what will it look like, how often will it occur and discuss it with the alum.
    • What will the objectives and day-to-day functions of the externship include?
    • How will this externship connect with your larger career goals and educational interests?

Finalize the details.

  • Fill out the DIY Externship Agreement Form and turn it into Richard Sylvester at the CCPD. The agreement form is the final checklist to make sure you have all of your ducks in a row and lets the CCPD know you are applying for a DIY Externship.
  • Complete the online DIY Externship Application.