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O’Brien Center for Career Development

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Externship FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions:

What is the Externship Experience?

Externships are experiential learning opportunities generally offered by career-college types of educational institutions to give students short practical experiences in their field of study. Students are given the opportunity to “shadow” an alumnus, parent or friend of Merrimack College throughout a typical workday.  Students may become involved with projects, attend meetings, or meet with other members of the organization. Most importantly, students can have their questions answered by industry professionals in a field they are considering as a possible career.

What is the difference between an Externship and an Internship?

In its most simple definition the word, externship means to job shadow an individual, typically a respected professional within an industry or workplace a student has interest in pursuing. Externships are typically a short duration of time lasting anywhere from a single day to eight weeks and are often held over a student’s winter or spring break whereas internships tend to be eight weeks long at minimum.

When do the Externships take place?

Externships will be held the during the workweek of January 4th-15th and March 21st-25th, depending on the host site.

Who can participate?

The Externship Experience is open to all sophomore students. Some hosts may only accept Externs from certain majors, which will be noted in the Externship description.

Why should students participate in an Externship?

The benefits that students receive from being a Extern are invaluable.  In addition to assisting with consider career choices, Externships allow students to build meaningful connections with employers that can potentially lead to internships/co-op’s or future full-time employment after completion.

Why should employers host an Extern?

Hosting an extern is a great branding opportunity, allows them to network with the Merrimack student community and peaks interest of future employees.

How can students apply for an Externship?

Students can apply for an Externship directly through Advantage. They are required to submit an application and resume describing their interest area(s). Participation is selective, determined by quality of resume and career interests.

What happens after students submit their application?

After a student submits their application, the O’Brien Center works to place them in an Externship that is mutually beneficial for the student and employer. The status of the student application and host site will be sent directly to the student once a decision has been made.

Externships will be held during the workweek of January 4th – 15th; and March 21st – 25th, exact dates are determined by then host site.

How to Apply

Applications for the Winter Break Externship Experience are due Monday, November 2, 2015.
  • Fill out online Externship Application
  • If you have any questions please contact or call (978) 837-5480