2100 Pullen Hall

Student FAQ

Gain insight through an inside view of professionals at work, and learn how to apply your major to a career field by job-shadowing in a company for one day. Review all FAQs to determine your interest!

Why do an externship?

  • Learn more about the day-to-day work life of professionals in a career field of your interest.
  • Gain greater insight into possible career choices.
  • Learn how to apply your major to a career field.
  • Gain opportunities to make professional connections and build networks for your future
    career development.
  • Help you to plan your time at NC State more productively, as a result of this experience.

What are some examples of externships?

  • Observe professionals on the job and ask questions to learn more about the career of your choice.
  • Conduct informational interviews with professionals.
  • Tour the company / organization facility.
  • Attend meetings and other work functions.
  • Develop contacts who may help you find internships and jobs.

Sample Group Extern Visit:

  1. Welcome from company official and overview of engineering opportunities
  2. Panel discussion featuring engineers at different levels- a chance to ask questions about their jobs and the company
  3. Tour of the company’s facility
  4. Networking activity to talk with several engineering professionals and learn more about their jobs
  5. Group challenging activity
  6. Lunch/depart

Who can participate and when does the externship occur?
The externship program is currently offered to NC State College of Engineering freshmen. The externship will take place during spring semester; dates will be determined and announced during fall semester.

How long do externships last?
The externship will be between half day and full day depending on your employer’s preference.

Can I earn academic credit for the externship?
No. Externships are not eligible for academic credit.

What is the difference between an externship and an internship?
Externships are short term and offer no pay or academic credit. Internships are longer term and can take place year round and are paid in most fields. Externships are excellent opportunities for students to be considered for future internships — several past externs have been offered internships the following summer!


  • Outstanding academic record (3.0+ GPA) and resume for employer to view.
  • Freshman College of Engineering student.
  • High level of professional character and enthusiastic about engineering.

What are the travel arrangements and costs for externships?
Externships are within 3 hours driving distance from NC State. You are responsible for your own travel arrangements and costs to travel to your externship location. This includes transportation, meals and lodging. Externship host(s) may treat you to lunch or assist you with other traveling expenses, but do not expect this. NC State may provide transportation if a large group is going to the same company.

How do I apply for externships?

  • If you are eligible to participate, information with specific dates and instructions will be emailed to you from Leslie Bowman, leslie_bowman@ncsu.edu.
  • Student registration and the list of participating employers will be posted in ePACK under the “Info Sessions” tab.
  • Sign up for ONLY ONE open slot for your first choice company to visit. You can only attend ONE company.
  • Selected students will attend one of the mandatory orientation sessions.

What happens after I am selected?
After completing the application and receiving notification of your externship assignment, you will need to attend one of the mandatory orientation sessions.

What will be discussed at the externship orientation session?
You will be prepared for the externship experience including understanding what is expected of you and what you can expect to gain from the experience. We will provide tips on informational interviewing, professionalism and how to write a formal thank-you letter at the end of your experience.

Is the externship orientation session mandatory?
Yes. You must attend the session in order to participate in the externship.

Contact Leslie Bowman, Career Counselor — leslie_bowman@ncsu.edu

"The Career Development Center will be valued by North Carolina State University and its partners as the leading resource to meet the comprehensive career development needs of students."

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