A professional experience internship is an applied learning opportunity that offers meaningful, practical work experience related to a student’s field of study.

Professional experience internships allow students to apply principles and theory learned in the classroom to a professional environment. Through a professional experience internship, students are provided an opportunity for career exploration and development.

Key elements that may differentiate a professional experience internship from a job include:

  • Training support that builds on the student’s academic program
  • The level of supervision and mentoring support provided on-site
  • The opportunity to work with a subject matter expert (SME) rather than expecting the student to be the SME
  • Critical reflection on the professional internship experience and the personal and professional growth achieved

According to a report by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE),

“GPA and the total number of internships a student completed as an undergraduate student are the major predictors of initial career outcomes. Graduates with more internships and graduates with higher GPAs had higher odds of being employed relative to seeking employment six months after graduation. Graduates with stronger measures of academic strength and graduates with higher numbers of internships also had higher odds of being in graduate school relative to seeking employment at six months.”

Read NACE’s internship reports for more information.


Sample Internships

Students locate their own internships. View a sample listing of previous companies below:

Advanced Auto Parts

Aero Simulation Inc.


AIG American General Companies




Auto Owners

Barney's Pumps Inc.


Best Buy

Booz Allen Hamilton

Burns & McDonnell

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay


Cisco Systems, Inc.

City of Lakeland Civil Service

CNP Agency

Coca-Cola Beverages Florida


Consolidated Electrical Distributors 



Duke Energy 

First Federal Bank

Florida Department of Transportation

Florida International University

Golden Rush

Huntington Ingalls Industries

Jacobs Engineering Group

JSK Consulting

Keeffe Power Engineering, LLC

Lockheed Martin

MAF Corp.

Mettler Toledo Product Inspection


National Security Agency

Navex Global, Inc.

Naval Research Enterprise Internship (NREIP)

Oasis Systems LLC


Pallet One

Phosphorus Free Water Solutions


Publix Super Markets, Inc.

Purdue University

Radware Inc.


Saddle Creek Logistics Services

Safety Solutions & Supply


Southern Homes of Polk County

Summer Undergraduate Research at Florida (SURF)


Team Fishel

Turner Construction

Underwriter Laboratories

U.S. Department of Defense

Whiting-Turner Contracting Company


Winter Haven Water

W.S. Badcock Corporation

Z Axis Solutions

and many more!




Understanding the Internship Requirement

Once a student hits 72 credit hours they can register for IDS 4941 (Professional Experience Internship). This is typically done the summer between your junior and senior year. The course is offered virtually and asynchronously.

The Office of Career Services can support students in finding an internship through offered resources, events, and career fairs. Students are responsible for securing their own internship. Make an appointment on Handshake to speak to a career coach to help you get started!

The internship course requires:

  • a minimum of 100 internship hours (these hours must be completed during the course)
  • successfully completed assignments

To pass this course, students must complete all requirements by the deadlines provided in the syllabus.

Internship opportunities on Handshake