The Cooper Union
CENTER FOR CAREER DEVELOPMENT

ART

C3 JOBS & INTERNSHIPS

EVENTS »

CAREER COUNSELING

JOB SEARCH BASICS »

SALARY INFORMATION

INTERNET RESOURCES

PROFESSIONAL INTERNSHIP PROGRAM »

CU @ LUNCH WITH ALUMNI »

EXHIBITING

GRANTS, FELLOWSHIPS
& SCHOLARSHIPS

UNDISCIPLINED

SPECIAL TOPICS

GRADUATE STUDY »

STUDY ABROAD

RECIPROCITY

POST-COOPER

HOME

Professional Internship Program

Program Description | Skills Gained | Learning Benefits

Professional Internship Program Description
Career education at The Cooper Union is informed by a thoughtful, professional philosophy that fosters exploration and independence. This approach includes the opportunity for students to participate in internships, which are practical learning experiences that take place in a professional work environment outside of the institution. Internships create an integral connection between proficiency in the classroom and the ability to produce work as a professional, serving an important function in the transition from study to practice.

Begun in 1981, The Cooper Union Professional Internship Program provides career-related experiential education and enables students to earn a stipend while working in internship positions that are unpaid. The stipend has allowed students to take advantage of career opportunities that might otherwise be unavailable to them; this can include exploratory internships in areas outside of the students' field of study. Because architecture internships are traditionally paid, architecture students are encouraged to work with not-for-profit organizations or in alternative architecture career paths.

The testimony of the hundreds of students who have pursued professional internships through the program affirms interning as a formative experience. Alumni and/or alumnae of the program often cite the internship as the most effective career-development tool they have encountered. Internships have often led to a clarification of the student's career goals or permanent employment after graduation.

Skills Gained
Recent interns provided a varied list of skills gained from the program, such as how to:

Present as a professional
Succeed in an interview
Participate in business
Present work
Market work
Improve writing and communication skills
Manage time
Work with supervisors
Become an active team member
Build a professional network

Learning Benefits
Through the internship experience, students are able to focus their career goals and gain experience while in college. At work, they place theoretical training into practice within a professional setting. The Professional Internship Program has been Cooper Union's most effective way of providing career assistance to artists and a strong method of enabling architects to pursue not-for-profit and alternative career paths.

Each student receives instruction that is deeply enriched by the wealth of practicing artists on the faculty and by numerous opportunities to apply their fine-arts training in a dynamic urban environment. In a world of increasing specialization and professional fragmentation, artists and designers with a wide range of experiences have something unique to offer and are prepared to meet the diverse and rapidly changing professional challenges confronting them after graduation.