The following outlines steps to finding internship opportunities and registering for BIOL 493:
1. Think about when you would like to do an internship (summer? fall?) and in what you are interested (ecology? microbiology? wildlife biology? biomedical research?). Fully complete internship request forms must be received at least a week before classes begin for that semester so that you can register for credit, so you must start planning well in advance of the semester you want to work during.
2. Start searching: talk to advisors about ideas, “Google it”, check out the career center, talk to peers. Someone else may have done something very similar to what you want to do. While the Biology advisors will not contact places for you, they do know about some different options in the Richmond area – they can also point you to other resources outside the area. To be eligible for BIOL 493 credit, there must be some field or lab work involved. Pre-health shadowing or patient care is not applicable for internship credit.
Here are some companies/organizations Biology majors have interned with previously:
Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), Maymont, Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF), Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS), Health Diagnostic Laboratories (HDL), Pfizer, Afton Chemical Corporation.
Some places to check out if you want to go farther from home:
Are you interested in Ecology? Check out the ECOLOG list serve: http://www.lsoft.com/scripts/wl.exe?SL1=ECOLOG-L&H=LISTSERV.UMD.EDU
This collection of sites from Columbia University: http://www.columbia.edu/cu/biology/ug/intern.html
3. Start contacting places. Again, we will not contact them for you; companies want to work with students who take initiative. You should be professional and courteous when contacting possible organizations. Remember, you are representing VCU. If you don’t have a resume yet, check out VCU Career Services: http://www.careers.vcu.edu/ Sometimes a well-written e-mail may be all that is required to obtain an internship – other places may require formal applications.
4. Once you have an internship locked down and a supervisor has been confirmed, then you can contact the Biology advising department to register for BIOL 493 Internship credit. In some cases, you may choose not to do the internship for credit; in other cases, companies may require it. Remember that if you decide to register for BIOL 493, you have to pay the VCU tuition that goes with those credits. If you are a senior, you can use this as your capstone experience by also registering for BIOL 477.
If everything is set for your internship and you would like to register for credit, fill out this Google Doc form with the pertinent information making sure to read the instructions and follow all steps: BIOL 493 Internship Request Form
If you have any further questions, please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.