Managing Internship Expectations

Managing Internship Expectations

By Ryan Tin Loy, Senior Career Development Advisor 

Students often seek out internship experiences with the hopes that it will provide them with quality work experience and extra income. However, an internship just like a full-time career has expectations that must be managed carefully to leverage its value fully. First, students should view internships as a long-term quality investment. The nature of the work experience may not fully materialize until after graduation. Instead of viewing an internship as the opportunity to earn money, students should view it as a continuation of their academic journey. Second, students should plan early in advance. Finding the right internship site is like job searching; it requires timing, tenacity, and the willingness to succeed. Students must be ready to adapt to changing market conditions and be mindful of HPU’s academic rules governing internships. Finally, students should treat an internship as professional experience. Not only is it an opportunity to learn but also to grow and mature as an individual.

Student engagement is the lifeblood of Hawai‘i Pacific University, and an internship adds another element to that experience. To make it a fruitful one, careful planning, research, and decision making are necessary. Only when these components are in place can the internship experience reach the expectations of the intern, employer, and HPU.

For more information on internships, careers and other advice, please contact Ryan Tin Loy at

Pictured from left to right: Career Development Center Director Michael Van Lear, Career Development Coordinator Kelly Lucero, and Senior Career Development Advisor Ryan Tin Loy