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Externship Program
a shadowing/mentorship program

The Hope College externship program provides students with a unique opportunity for career exploration. Through an application process students are matched with alumni based on career interest to explore a particular profession and work environment, over a 1-5 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, May 9 -20. The Externship Program is not for academic credit and students are not compensated.

Danielle Portfleet


Read about a previous year's Externship Program in the News from Hope College.

News from Hope College


Student Criteria for Selection

It is the desire of the Career Development Center 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 resume and the connection between the studentís goals for participation and the criteria of the hosting organization.

Students do not 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.

Typical Activities of an Externship

  • Attend company staff meetings
  • Assist with projects or complete office tasks
  • Conduct informational interviews of professional staff
  • Observe client interactions and the functions and duties of a particular career
  • Tour the facilities
  • Review organizationís 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
2016 Timeline for Externship Program

Deadline for Host Registration: Monday, February 15, 2016
Externship Opportunities Available to Students: February 17
Externship Application Due: Thursday, March 3 by 5 pm
Externship Placement Notification: Week of March 7, 2016
Mandatory Externship Information Sessions: April 4 (2-3pm), April 7 (11-12), April 13 (4:30-5:30), (Students must be able to attend 1 of the 3 sessions to be eligible)
Externship Period: May 9 -20, 2016

Application Process

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

2016 Externship Opportunities

Required application materials:

  1. Send your resume to with "Externship Application" in the subject line
  2. Complete the Student Externship Application

Transportation, Housing and Financial Consideration

Scholarship is available for students who need assistance with transportation or housing costs.

Plane or Train: The student is responsible for purchasing their own airline/train tickets unless otherwise arranged with the externship host. If awarded scholarship compensation is provided upon submission of travel itinerary.

Automobile: Commuting expenses are primarily the responsibility of the student. If the externship site is within Holland city limits transportation through the Hope College Campus Safety Department can be requested.

Housing: If housing is provided by the host it will be indicated on the externship description when the student applies. If housing is not provided, and the externship is not local, then it is the responsibility of the student to make housing arrangements. If the opportunity is local, students can request on-campus housing during the time of their externship.

Have questions? Contact Megan Fisher at