Externship Program

The Hope College externship program provides students with a unique opportunity for career exploration through a shadowing or mentorship program. 

Through an application process, students are matched with alumni based on their career interest to explore a particular profession and work environment over a one- to five-day period. The experiences are short and intense. As a result, students can better assess their career interests and increase their network of professional connections.

Externships take place all over the United States, and are offered during the first two weeks of May term. The externship program is not for academic credit and students are not compensated.


We want to place all interested students into an externship. However, due to the limited number of externships available, we may not be able to place every student. Students will be selected for an externship on the basis of their résumé and the connection between the student’s goals for participation and the criteria of the hosting organization.

Students don’t need to show expertise or experience in the field of the externship for which they apply, but they must show sincere interest and curiosity about the field as a possible career option. If you are not placed in an externship the first time around, please be sure to apply for future opportunities.

  • Attend company staff meetings
  • Assist with projects or complete office tasks
  • Conduct informational interviews with staff members
  • Observe client interactions and the functions and duties of a particular career
  • Tour the facilities
  • Review organization’s mission/vision statement and organizational charts
  • Understand office policies and procedures
  • Review current trends in the profession
  • Explore potential career paths within the organization and the profession
  • Meet with key players of the organization


Monday, February 15 Deadline for host registration
February 17 Externship opportunities available to students
Thursday, March 3, by 5 p.m. Externship application due
Week of March 7 Externship placement notification
April 4 (2–3 p.m.),
April 6 (4:30–5:30 p.m.),
April 7 (11 a.m.–noon)
Mandatory externship information session

(Students must be able to attend one of the three sessions to be eligible)
May 9–20 Externship period

Externship applications will be accepted through March 3. Students may apply to more than one opportunity starting on February 17.

Required application materials

Scholarships are available for students who need assistance with transportation or housing costs.

Plane or Train

You are responsible for purchasing your own airline or train tickets unless otherwise arranged with the externship host. If you’re awarded a scholarship, you’ll be reimbursed when you submit your travel itinerary.


Commuting expenses are primarily your responsibility. If the externship site is within Holland city limits, you can request transportation through Campus Safety.


If housing is provided by the host, it will be indicated on the externship description when you apply. If housing is not provided and the externship is not local, it is your responsibility to make housing arrangements. For a local externship, you can request on-campus housing.