Career Head Start for Honors Students

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As a University Honors student, you can take advantage of many opportunities to build your professional skills. You have access to internship and externship programs, as well as a Professional Development Boot Camp. These programs will give you a head start on reaching your career goals.


Professional Development Boot Camp

This program is offered in partnership with Career Services. It consists of a series of activities that you complete over the course of a semester. By participating in the boot camp, you'll build a solid foundation for career success. You can also earn an Honors Engaged point.

Register for the boot camp by the end of the second week of the semester. Complete the required activities in the given timeframe. Be sure to sign in at an event, if applicable, to receive credit.

If you have any questions, contact Cathy Doederlein at cdoederlein1@niu.edu.

Required Activities

  • Complete a brief Career Goals form (e-mailed to students after registration is complete).
  • Contact Career Services to schedule a 15-minute online resume review appointment. Students are encouraged to complete this activity before the September 30 All Majors Internship and Job Fair and must complete it no later than the Friday before Finals Week.
  • Attend the Career Fair Prep Workshop on September 23.
  • Attend the All Majors Internship and Job Fair on September 30 – Interact with at least 3 employers in one-on-one virtual chats. (Must be a one-on-one chat as opposed to a group chat in order to receive credit, which is tracked electronically.)
  • Attend at least one additional Career Services event – to be completed by no later than the Friday before Finals Week. Please note: some events may require pre-registration; please plan accordingly.
  • Attend at least one Jobs PLUS event (full schedule available soon – to be completed by no later than the Friday before Finals Week. Please note: all events require pre-registration and have a cap on attendees. Early registration is encouraged.)
  • Log in to NIU’s Big Interview system and record a mock interview using the "Top 10 Questions" module under the General Mock Interview section of the system. E-mail the recording of your mock interview to Cathy Doederlein at cdoederlein1@niu.edu for review by an employer from your industry/field of interest (to be completed by no later than the eighth week of the semester)
  • Final Written Reflection – please write a 500 to 750-word reflection on your participation within the Professional Development Boot Camp highlighting at least three items that you see as “take-aways” that you can benefit from and use in your future professional endeavors (e-mailed to cdoederlein1@niu.edu and honors@niu.edu no later than the Friday before Finals Week)

Internship Partnership

We have partnered with Career Services to offer paid experiences with the DeKalb County Nonprofit Partnership. If selected, you'll be matched with an organization in DeKalb County for an internship of approximately 10 hours a week. You can earn an Honors Engaged point for your participation.

Applications for spring 2021 will open mid-fall 2020.

Eligibility

While designed for sophomores and juniors, this program is open to all University Honors students in good standing, regardless of major. You must meet the following criteria:

  • Have completed 30+ hours of college credit (at any institution) by the semester in which the internship begins.
  • Attend an orientation session during the semester before the internship experience begins.
  • Attend interviews (to be matched with an organization) during the start of the semester in which the internship begins.
  • Work 120+ hours over the course of the semester for the internship experience.
  • Attend approximately three to six class seminars during the internship semester on professional development topics.

Honors Externship Program

The University Honors Program has partnered with Career Services and the Alumni Association to offer externship experiences. These one-week externships usually take place in January before spring semester begins, or during March break or are sometimes spread out beyond one week. If selected, you'll be matched with an NIU graduate or partner. They will mentor you and provide first-hand experience in a career you're interested in exploring. This program is open to all University Honors students in good standing, regardless of major. It's approved for Honors Engaged and Engage PLUS

To receive an Honors Engaged point for completing this experience, you will also need to complete a pre-externship assignment where you do research on the externship site and a post-externship reflection. Once you have indicated interest through completing an online application, we will send out more information about the requirements. The application deadline is Oct. 16, 2020.