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You know that gathering career experience during college is important, but do you know how to get started?  Check out the table below to learn general information about the different types of experiences available to you and find out how to get started.  For more information, please schedule an appointment with a Career Services staff member!

Type of Experience     

What is it?

How do I do it?

What Will I gain?


(Paid or unpaid)

Short -term work experiences that give you the opportunity for hands-on learning and firsthand experience in a potential career field. Some internships can be taken as a class for academic credit.

Attend an internship information session

Search in Handshake

• Some majors coordinate their internship program through the department


Relevant career skills & experiences, as well as valuable contacts in your field.

Job Shadow

An opportunity to see what a typical day is like for someone in specific job or career field that interests you. These experiences can range in length from couple hours to several days.  

• Family, friends, & alumni are a great place to start when looking for a job shadow opportunity


Learn more about a career that interests you by observing and asking questions of a person currently working in the field

Part-Time or SummerJob

A great way to gain work experience while also making some extra cash. You may consider opportunities within your career field.

• Start by attending Career Services' Part Time Job Fair or Summer Job and Camp Fair

Learn responsibility and gain skills that will transfer into your future career.



May be conducted independently or as part of a team.  You can develop a project, conduct original research, and potentially present and/or publish your findings.

Visit Undergraduate Research and Creativity for information on how to get started

Develop critical thinking &  writing skills. You may also gain grant-writing experiences & public speaking skills. Potentially earn academic credit for research. 

Student or

Community Organization Involvement

A great way to engage with a group that supports your interests. Many academic majors have student organizations on campus. 

 •Visit MyOrgs for a list o UWL student organizations



Skills in leadership and teamwork. Taking on a role, serving on a committee, organizing a project or event, or being an officer are some ways to add depth to your experience.

Volunteer Work

and Service Learning

Can be done independently, as part of a class, or as part of your involvement with an organization. It can help you test an interest area or connect with like-minded individuals while helping a cause. Visit Ugetconnected to view and respond to volunteer needs in the La Crosse community.  Hand-on experience while developing empathy and gaining skills that will transfer into your future career.

Study Abroad

An opportunity to take classes in another country and immerse yourself in a new culture. If you can't commit to a full year or semester, programs of varying lengths are available.

 •Visit Study Abroad (International Education & Engagement) to find a program. 


Expand your worldview whiles gaining skills that will transfer into your future career.