Externship Host Information

The Externship program is designed to connect University of Portland engineering students in their sophomore year with professionals in the community who work in career fields and professions of interest to them. Students are matched with a host for one day of shadowing, observing, attending meetings, learning, touring, and informational interviewing.

Who participates? 

  • Currently enrolled sophomore engineering majors

Host dates and deadlines:

  • Externship will take place during the week of spring break 2017
  • Student Application Deadline: TBD
  • Host Registration Deadline: TBD
  • Host/student matches will be made the last week of February

Host's responsibility:

  • Maintain contact with student once "match" has been determined
  • Collaboratively develop goals for the experience with student
  • Discuss items the student should prepare for in advance
  • Provide information on the appropriate attire for the work place and the logistics (day and time, location and directions) for the visit

Student's Responsibility:

  • Participate in one of the mandatory Externship workshops hosted by the Career Center
  • Prepare for Externship day by establishing and maintaining contact with host once placement has been determined
  • Collaboratively develop goals for the experience with host
  • Conduct oneself in a professional manner for the duration of the experience
  • Pay for travel expenses and other expenses

Externship Host FAQ

Who can host externships?

externships are hosted by alumni, parents, or friends of the University of Portland. Alumni who want to host can be from any class year, as long as they are in a position to create an itinerary for the externship experience that provides the student with "real world" overview of a career. Hosts who are in graduate or professional school are also a valuable part of the program as many students may be interested in learning what it is like to be a graduate student.

How is the externship assignment made?

Students complete an application listing their career interests in addition to a resume and an essay. The Career Center matches students based on the information provided as well as any criteria outlined by each externship host.

What happens once I am assigned an extern?

The student is responsible for contacting you to discuss the specific details of date, time, and location. Hosts should provide the student with directions and guidelines for appropriate dress. Student contact information will be on the resume that is emailed to you by the Career Center. The student will provide you with an indication of what he or she is interested in observing and gaining from the experience.

How structured of an experience do I need to provide?

It is up to the host and the students to determine the details for the experience. Students are responsible for communicating their interests and expectations to the host. All hosts should have a planned itinerary in place two weeks prior to the externship and provide the schedule with the student.

Some suggestions include:

  • Review organization's mission/vision statement and organizational charts
  • Communicate with a variety of employees in different departments
  • Learn about the career paths of many employees in the organization
  • Attend meetings with employees and clients
  • Visit different departments and learn how they work together
  • Meet employees who recently graduated from college to hear their perspective
  • Speak with HR representatives about recruiting and hiring practices
  • Learn what skills, qualifications, and education are applicable to the host's career
  • Work on short-term projects (not filing or copying)
  • Tour the workplace
  • Listen to customer calls

Who is responsible for transportation?

Students are responsible for arranging transportation and any associated costs.

What are my responsibilities?

You are expected to spend time with the student and coordinate a schedule for the entire day. As the host, you have the right not to answer any questions or requests you feel are inappropriate or confidential. You also have the right to address, with the student, any behavior that is unacceptable in your workplace. Students may work on a project and spend time with other employees. Please minimize idle time as best you can. It is not your responsibility to identify what will be most interesting to the student; he or she will communicate with you in advance what his or her specific areas of interest. Students will receive instruction on appropriate workplace etiquette and are expected to perform research on your employer prior to the Externship.

How do I volunteer to serve as a host?

Complete the host registration form.

What if I need to cancel my externship?

If for some reason you must cancel your externship, please notify the student immediately. Also contact the Career Center as soon as possible at 503.943.7201. Ideally you will be able to reschedule the externship at a mutually convenient time.

Can I provide feedback on the externship program?

Please contact Amy Cavanaugh at any time with questions, comments or concerns. A formal evaluation will be emailed in late March to solicit your opinions on the experience. Our goal is to make this program a positive experience for all students and hosts involved.

What happens once the externship is completed?

We truly hope you have a positive experience with the externship program. In some situations the hosts and students may stay connected after the externship. If the experience is a positive one, the student may inquire about the potential for internships or full-time jobs within your organization.

Who can I contact if I have questions?

Contact Amy Cavanaugh in the Career Center at cavanaug@up.edu or 503.943.7201 with any questions about the program.


University of Portland
5000 N. Willamette Blvd.,
Portland, Oregon 97203-5798