Open doors to your future. Professional internships are required for all BFA students in all majors at Lesley University.
Lesley University College of Art and Design is one of the few art colleges nationally that requires an external learning/work experience. Internships (completed in the junior or senior year) are a critical part of the academic experience for students in all studio majors. Internships immerse students into the working world of the professional artist. Internship experiences assist students with the process of "trying out" visual art careers. Experiential learning of this type sharpens technical skills, and affords students opportunity to further develop artistic talent and the final portfolio. Internships can also lead to permanent jobs...!
What is an internship?
An internship is a structured, credit-bearing, supervised work experience designed to enrich and complement the academic program. An internship enables students to discover the links between academic study/application of classroom knowledge to practical work situations. Internships are usually unpaid.
How do students prepare for the internship process?
All Lesley University College of Art and Design students are required to take an internship seminar class (description below) simultaneous or prior to the experiential learning experience:
This course addresses professional development issues for the students in the department, including identification of personal interests within the field, matching those interests with appropriate businesses and organizations, and presenting oneself as an appropriate candidate for any professional position. Course content includes identification and development of career research resources; introduction to networking skills; and development of portfolio, resume, and cover letters. The goal is to give students the ability to identify and pursue high-quality internship experiences, and eventually to pursue more meaningful and satisfying professional opportunities overall.
How long does the internship experience last?
Internship placements can last one semester or longer, and can be fulfilled during fall, summer, or spring semesters.
How are students supervised for internship?
The student's internship seminar faculty member will serve as the experiential learning advisor and students will report to a designated supervisor onsite (determined by site staff).
Are students restricted to the Boston/Cambridge area for site locations?
No, students may work at any appropriate site across the country or internationally.
When should students start the search process?
Students should start thinking about potential sites during the sophomore year. Students will solidify site placement with a faculty member in the internship seminar class. Popular sites have structured requirements and deadlines and students should keep this information in mind during the search process.
What's the benefit of completing an internship?
Students often learn invaluable lessons from the internship experience, from their supervisors, their onsite colleagues, and the clients (where appropriate). Students observe and practice real-world, professional standards, and apply the abstract concepts they heard about in the classroom. Internship experiences have led to permanent careers and significant connections for a number of visual art students.
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Lesley University undergraduate students talk about the value of their internship and field experiences.
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