W_Internship Program: Student FAQ

What is the program?

This year’s pilot W_Internship program is a partnership between firms, students, and the university that seeks to place a group of students in architecture offices for brief, immersive experiences, from January 2 through January 13, 2023.

The program is currently available only to third-year architecture students (including international students).

Why should I participate?

We think this intensive program is uniquely positioned to use place-based professional practice to build students’ knowledge, skills, and abilities for future success. We see the partnership as a chance to more intentionally merge the immersive professional experience many students gain from summer and semester-long internships with the curriculum here in Blacksburg. We see these shorter experiences as a chance to offer participants a wide variety of opportunities to embody and explore architecture praxis, and spend time in work environments that might not otherwise be accessible.

For more reasons see some testimonies from students and firms. 

What kind of firms can I work with / what kind of work will I do?

The program will include firms that range in size, scope, and geographic location. The work opportunities will include contributing to project teams, conducting research, developing precedent and case studies, creating drawings, models, graphics, and design concepts (depending on their prior experiences). We also encourage our partner firms to have interns attend client and consultant meetings, participate in site visits, and work with to other sectors and operations of the firm. 

What are the responsibilities and expectations from each party?

Employer responsibilities

  • posting job description with eligibility criteria
  • reviewing resumes/conducting interviews
  • selecting student/tendering offer letters/documenting terms of employment
  • assisting student with the development of learning objectives
  • providing supervision & evaluation of performance.

University responsibilities

  • preparing students for the workforce via pre-on-boarding professionalism & etiquette training
  • creating relevant coursework to facilitate educational development
  • monitoring student progress and addressing any problems or concerns (employer- and/or student-facing).

Student responsibilities

  • signing pledge agreement to accept the position and attend the internship (accountability mechanism)
  • completing pre-on-boarding requirements before commencing the position (mandatory information, orientation, and enrollment sessions)
  • fulfilling expectations and duties assigned by the employer
  • completing all course assignments set up in Canvas (student educational platform).

What do length, hours, and compensation look like?

Over the two-week period, you are expected to keep a full-time employment schedule (40 hours a week, for a total of 80 hours), and you’ll be paid an hourly rate. Alternatively, students may receive academic credit in lieu of payment for internships with non-profits and government agencies. 

If you are an international student, you will need approval for “Curricular Practical Training” through the Cranwell International Center (a separate university entity from that of Career Services).

How do I get started?

  • create or update your profile, upload recent resume and portfolio materials
  • search for “W_Internships” under the Jobs tab and apply to the positions you’re interested in
  • register for and attend one of the CEIP virtual Information sessions (Nov. 11th , Nov. 14th , more to come – date tbd)
  • register for and attend one of the CEIP virtual Orientation and Enrollment sessions (Nov. 9th , Nov. 15th , Dec. 1st , and Dec. 7th)
  • enroll in CEIP 3084 according to the instructions given in the sessions
  • request an Experience on Handshake by uploading the employer’s offer letter
  • pay the $75 enrollment fee for CEP 3084
  • dive into the W_Internship experience!

who to contact

For questions about the overall program and partnership, please reach out to Architecture Program Chair Margarita McGrath at mmcgrath@vt.edu and label your message “W internship”.

For specific questions about Handshake, please reach out to Lauren Malhotra at laurcm6@vt.edu and label your message “W internship”.

To reach the CEIP office, call 540-231-6241 or email ceip@vt.edu.