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Host FAQs

What should I expect from a student extern?

Expect the student(s) to be ready to learn and ask questions. The purpose of this program is career exploration, so students may not have relevant work experience or may not yet know the right kinds of questions to be asking to learn more. Keep in mind that students are participating to learn about your industry, what you do in your role, and what they can be doing now to prepare for the future.

What should alumni hosts avoid during the Externship?

Our hope is that students will have an opportunity to engage with you, to have a conversation, or an experience that allows them to interact. We understand that the opportunities for connection may be limited by the Externship format (whether virtual or in-person), so a hands-on experience may not always be possible. But students can watch you give a presentation to colleagues, participate in a brainstorming session, or even have a meeting with a client! We strongly encourage you to resist the temptation to merely lecture them about what you do.

What do externs do?

It depends on you and your field of work! Understanding what your student hopes to accomplish will help you think well about what to do during your time together. Younger students are often in the early stages of exploration and may just want to hear about what you do and what your industry means. Our older students may be exploring your company versus another one where they interned, or they may be confirming their interest in your industry or role. Some ideas for engaging externships include:

  • A conversation with you to learn about your career path and transition after Wheaton
  • A tour of your office (if you're not working from home)
  • Informational interviews with your colleagues in various roles and at different levels in your organization
  • Attending a meeting with your colleagues or a client
  • Learning about the industry, organization, training, and education necessary to enter your field
  • Assisting with projects, if possible (e.g., research, report writing)

By signing up, will I automatically be assigned an extern?

Not necessarily. We cannot guarantee a student extern for every host site, as matching is based on student interest and applications. We will do our best to make sure all host sites are filled.

When do Externships take place?

In-person Externships in the Chicagoland area will take place on February 1, 2022, as students do not have class that day.
We realize that an in-person experience may not be an option for all hosts (especially those outside of the Chicagoland area!). Virtual Externships provide you and your extern(s) the opportunity to schedule a day and time that will work best for you throughout the week of January 31 - February 4, 2022.
You and your extern(s) will be matched on January 12, 2022, and your extern(s) should reach out to you to schedule a time by January 14, 2022. Please email externship.day@wheaton.edu with questions.

How long is an externship?

In-person Externships are ideally full day experiences, but we welcome half-day Externships. The registration form will allow you to specify the length and time that works best for you.
Virtual externships should be between one and three hours, depending on the format and topics covered. The registration form will allow you to specify the length and time that works best for you.

Can I partner with friends in my industry for my Externship?

Yes! We encourage alumni hosts to provide a rotational experience for students when possible. Connect with fellow alumni or friends in your company so that students can connect with multiple departments during your time together. And please encourage other alumni you know to register to host their own Externs this year!

How does alumni-student matching work?

Students review the list of Externship hosts and select up to five host sites. Matching is based on student rankings and the date/time when they applied, so some preference is given to students who apply early. Once we match students and alumni in the system, both alumni and student will receive an email with their match information by 5pm Central on January 12, 2022. We want each match to be the best possible fit for both the host and student!