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Externships At Carleton

Alvin talks about the Carleton Externship Program.

Alvin talks about the Carleton Externship Program.


I wanted to take some time this week to talk about externships, as Carleton students — including myself — just recently finished our applications about a week ago and are now going through interviews among other things as we wait on responses from companies. We have a fantastic externship program here at Carleton, and I thought it would be suitable to give a brief overview about what the program is and how it works.

For those who don’t know, externships are quite similar to internships, but are much shorter in length and are usually unpaid. As a result, most Carleton students will extern somewhere over the course of our six week winter break from anywhere between one to three weeks. Externships are a great way to discover what field of work best interests you, and can add valuable work experience as you progress throughout college.

Each year on September 1st, Carleton releases a list of Carleton-exclusive externships to which students can apply directly through Carleton’s website. This year, there were around 140 externships available for underclassmen, with a few dozen more available for upperclassmen. The Carleton alumni network is very strong, and practically all of the companies offering externships have a Carleton alumnus who is able to extend an externship exclusive to Carleton students.

The externships cover practically any field of work imaginable, and there is plenty of choice; they really are a unique way to explore interests. However, due to how the program is run, as well as the competitive nature of the program, students are only allowed to apply to three externships each year.

Carleton is also fantastic about helping students all throughout the process. As mentioned in a previous blog post, the Career Center is a great resource to get help on writing resumes and cover letters, as well as to receive tips on how to interview effectively. Carleton also provides financial support to students, and can assist in covering travel fees.

One of the obstacles of working an externship is sorting out the housing situation, but Carleton is also great in helping students find homes to stay in. Carleton alumni have a very strong bond with the school itself, and many alumni are more than willing to house Carleton students during their externship. My friend did an externship at Stanford last year, and his host family gave him a bike to commute and took him out on multiple occasions to experience the Bay Area! I’ve found that practically everyone associated with Carleton is extremely friendly, and housing shouldn’t be an issue when it comes to externships.

Carleton’s externship program is a great platform which allows students to discover their interests and gain valuable work experience. Externships can really be a unique and helpful experience, so take advantage of them!


Alvin is a west coast kid at heart (coming from San Jose, California), but is excited to be in Minnesota. He plays for the soccer team here at Carleton and loves exercise. If he’s not on the soccer field, in the gym, or out on a bike ride during his free time, he can be found in one of the lounges playing Exploding Kittens, or in the music building playing piano. He is a potential economics major with an interest in computer science and mathematicsMeet the other bloggers!