What to Expect

If you are accepted to participate in the Chicago Field Studies Academic Internship Program you will

Work with a CFS Advisor who will

  • Make sure you understand your obligations while participating in CFS.
  • Discuss your internship and career interests with you.
  • Review your resume and give you suggestions that will help you craft a competitive resume.
  • Talk to you about your resources for a successful CFS internship search.
  • Assist you throughout the internship search process by doing such things as: sending resumes to specific employer contacts (as appropriate); following up with employers on applications you have submitted; work with you to create connections with new employers you are interested in; advise you during the interview process, answering questions on how to navigate situations such as offer deadlines while you are still interviewing and providing guidance during your offer selection process. 
  • Check in with you periodically during your internship to see how it is going.
  • Help you determine how to address any problems or concerns you might have during your CFS quarter.
  • Provide guidance on ways to use your CFS experience to further your career aspirations.

Apply for and secure an internship for your CFS quarter

  • While your CFS advisor will help you with this process and point you in the direction of resources, ultimately it is up to you to secure the internship of your choice for the quarter you will participate in CFS.
  • CFS maintains relationships with over 100 Chicago area business and organizations, but internship opportunities are not limited to employers CFS already has a connection with. CFS can work with almost any employer in the Chicago area with a substantive internship and the flexibility to work with students who are required to take a weekly class.
  • You are also welcome to apply to CFS with an internship already secured!
  • For examples of different types of internships and which CFS classes they connect to see Internships.

Participate in the Practice Interview Program

  • CFS alums and volunteers offer their time to practice with you, helping you prepare for interviews with employers.

Attend a mandatory orientation on the first day of classes

  • Orientation helps prepare you to start your internship, gives you an opportunity to meet fellow CFS participants, and hear from CFS alums, instructors, and employers on how to make the most of your CFS quarter.
  • You can find Orientation and other important program dates for each quarter here.

Participate in a CFS course that links to your internship experience

  • CFS classes are small seminars limited to 16 students and are either 4 units of credit or variable (1-4) credit.
  • Being accepted into the program secures your spot in the course of your choice while you search for an internship.
  • The earlier you apply the better chance of securing a spot in your first choice course.
  • Learn more about our Class + Internship connection.

To Know:

Because of the nature of the program you should expect your CFS course and internship to be the primary focus of the quarter you do CFS.

We do not guarantee accepted students will secure internships. With the help of their advisor, typically 95-100% of students accepted into the program are able successfully secure an internship each quarter. However, we do not guarantee that students accepted into our program will secure an internship.

You are expected to be engaged and professional at your internship throughout the quarter. Unprofessional behavior is likely lead to being fired from your internship which may impact your CFS grades as coursework relies on students being in internships for the whole quarter.

Communicate with CFS if you are having trouble in your internship or course. The staff is there to advise and assist you if you need them.

CFS credits and grades come from your coursework and participation in your CFS course, not your internship. 

CFS is an academic program therefore everything you submit to and do while in CFS is subject to Academic integrity. This extends to all areas of the program including resume, participating in the program, honoring commitments to internships, and coursework. 


Ready to learn more about our courses and apply to the program?