Internships and Part-Time Positions for PhDs

There are many ways to gain professional experience as a graduate student, from full-time summer internships to leadership positions with one of the many student organizations. Professional experiences can serve a variety purposes, including exploring new industries, learning to apply transferable skills in new areas, learning entirely new skills, and more, and the type of experience that’s most beneficial to you will depend on your goals and background. This page provides information on this full range of resources and opportunities, many of which are available directly through Yale.

Read on for an overview of the kinds of opportunities available to you, or jump straight to the pages for specific categories below.

Finding the Right Fit

In the right circumstances, a full-time summer internships can be an ideal way to kickstart a career. Tech companies often offer internships explicitly aimed at graduate students, but many other opportunities are open to graduate students even if not advertised for them directly. A number of opportunities are available directly through Yale, including the President’s Public Service Fellowship and summer positions at Yale University Press. Keep in mind that GSAS has specific regulations regarding full-time internships, as well as part-time work beyond 10 hours per week—see the Summer Internships page for more information on these regulations along with links to many more opportunities at Yale and beyond.

Alternatives to the Internship

For many graduate students, it may not be realistic to take a full summer away from research and other obligations. The good news is that there is no shortage of opportunities to gain professional experience that don’t require an onerous time commitment and that can be just as valuable for your career journey as a traditional internship. Part-time work can be carried out during the academic year, and Yale offers opportunities covering many different offices and job functions. And you may not have realized that participation in student organizations also contributes to professional development, but this kind of work builds skills in leadership and project management with a time commitment designed to fit into a graduate student’s schedule.

A number of organizations at Yale also organize opportunities for consulting work, which can range in time commitment from a single weekend to a yearlong project requiring a few hours of work per week. These projects are not just for students interested in pursuing consulting as a career, and are a great way to experience working with a team, to learn basic business practices and to see how your skills translate to new areas. For similar experience in a remote form, you may also consider micro-internships, which give you the chance to do short-term freelance work in your area of expertise.

Virtual Experiences

In busy periods when even part-time work can’t fit into your schedule, there are still opportunities to build skills and explore careers via virtual experiences and job simulations. These generally involve sample projects provided by real companies using realistic materials and datasets designed to simulate the workflow and process of a particular job function. Yale provides access to a number of sites that host these opportunities, which also pair well with other online career resources like LinkedIn Learning.

Professional Experience Opportunities with Student Organizations

Professional Experience Opportunities with Student Organizations

Involvement in student organizations—particularly leadership positions—is a good way to gain experience in project management and working with teams, and presents an opportunity to learn alongside other graduate students how your skills as a PhD student transfer into other domains. …

By Brian Miller
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Yale 2021 3-Minute Thesis Competition: View Finalists & Vote!

Yale 2021 3-Minute Thesis Competition: View Finalists & Vote!

Register to attend our 2021 3-Minute Thesis Awards Ceremony (Saturday, April 17th, 3:30pm ET) via Zoom today!

Watch the videos from this year’s 3-Minute Thesis finalists!

Submit your vote for your favorites!

There are predictable hurdles in turning a massive …

By Brian Frenette
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Virtual Experiences and Job Simulations for PhD Students

Virtual Experiences and Job Simulations for PhD Students

Virtual experiences and job simulations give you the chance to learn about a particular industry or practice using skills on realistic business problems, all on your own time. For these simulations, organizations provide realistic prompts and resources so that you …

By Brian Miller
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Consulting and Short-Term Projects for PhD Students

Consulting and Short-Term Projects for PhD Students

Many opportunities for gaining professional experience don’t require a full-time summer internship or even a full-semester commitment, but can instead take the form of short-term projects. These kinds of projects often fall under the banner of “consulting” (as with the …

By Brian Miller
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Summer Internships for PhD Students

Summer Internships for PhD Students

Traditional summer internships typically last 8–12 weeks and are a full-time commitment. While it can be challenging to fit this kind of experience into a busy PhD course of study (and these positions are subject to GSAS regulations), Yale offers …

By Brian Miller
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Career Resources

CovIntern is a job board specifically created to host remote internship opportunities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Postings cover many fields, …

The Smithsonian offers a large number of internships every year across its many museums and offices. Many of these are …

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