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 career goals form. The form will be emailed to you after you register.
  • Visit Career Services no later than the Friday before finals week, preferably before the career fair. You can drop in between 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Monday through Friday, to review your resume, practice your elevator pitch and more.
  • Attend the Career Fair Prep Workshop Be sure to pick up a tracking sheet for the All Majors Internship and Job Fair.
  • Attend the All Majors Internship and Job Fair You must speak with at least three employers. Fill out the tracking sheet or get business cards from the employers.
  • Attend at least one Career Services general audience workshop no later than the Friday before finals week. You must register for some workshops in advance.
  • Attend at least one Jobs PLUS event no later than the Friday before finals week. You must register in advance. Attendance is limited, so register early.
  • Record a mock interview no later than the eighth week of the semester. Log in to Big Interview and use the Top 10 Questions module under the General Mock Interview section. Email the recording to cdoederlein1@niu.edu for review by an employer from your field of interest.
  • Complete a final written reflection no later than the Friday before finals week. It should be 500-750 words and highlight at least three things you learned that will benefit you professionally. Email it to cdoederlein1@niu.edu and honors@niu.edu.

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.

Online Application

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

We have 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.

The 2019-20 program has already taken place. Information about the 2020-21 program will be available in the fall.